Alexandria, VA – In the wake of the attack at a high school in Parkland, Florida, Islamic Relief USA will be in the town for one week to distribute cash cards and emotional care to the families of the victims of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people and critically injured dozens of others.
“Words cannot adequately describe the grief and sorrow we feel for the victims and their families. This horrific, senseless attack on young men and women in a public school of all places is extremely disturbing and heartbreaking,” said IRUSA President Anwar Khan. “Actions must be taken to help prevent future attacks. We must also do all we can to help the victims’ loved ones cope during this extremely difficult time of grieving. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 14, the shooting suspect, Nikolas Cruz, a former student, entered the school with black bags and pulled out a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle, killing and injuring several others. Cruz, 19, who lived a troubled life and had been expelled from the school, is currently in police custody.
IRUSA, along with other non-governmental organizations and agencies, will operate from a family support center in an amphitheater located at 10561 Trails End, Parkland, Fla. The cash cards will help cover various expenses, such as funeral costs, lost income for caring for wounded children, or replacement costs for essential personal belongings confiscated by the FBI in the course of the investigation.
The amount of assistance that will be provided will depend on the degree of need. IRUSA will work closely with federal, state and NGO partners to support the families.
“Nothing can replace the loss of innocent life. But we can help make the grieving process a little less difficult through this program,” Khan added.
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Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. Its programs benefit millions of people each year around the world, including in the United States.
Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.