Alexandria, VA – In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), a nonprofit humanitarian and advocacy organization, has awarded an $18,000 ‘Silver Anniversary’ grant to One America West Virginia for a program focussed on battling the opioid crisis.
The ‘Silver Anniversary Community Bridge-Building’ program was announced as an initiative to bridge the differences that frequently divide communities – such as religion, race, or political opinion. The grant announcement generated 175 formal inquiries from organizations working in 36 states and Puerto Rico, demonstrating that people all across America are interested in finding common bonds and committing to a common mission for the sake of their communities.
“The tremendous response from grassroots, community-based, and national organizations shows that people, who on the surface have little in common, can come together to make the world a better place—a place where there’s more unity, more sensitivity, and an endless amount of potential and promise,” said Anne Wilson, director of programs for IRUSA.
To address the opioid crisis, which impacts people of all faiths and backgrounds, the IRUSA grant will help fund a series of events and trainings designed to bring individuals from West Virginia and Washington, D.C. closer together through community service and interfaith alliances. One America’s programs are designed with the best available research from multiple fields in mind, including communications, peace building cognitive science, social science, etc.
“The opioid epidemic is a humanitarian crisis right here at home, and it impacts all of us; black, brown and white, Democrat and Republican,” said Andrew Hanauer, director of One America Movement. “One America West Virginia believes that we are stronger when we work together, no matter our political, religious, or racial background, to tackle our toughest challenges. We are grateful to Islamic Relief USA for its investment in this effort.”
The opioid crisis is one of the biggest threats facing the community at large. The Department of Health and Human Services said more than 40,000 people died from overdoses of opioid drugs in 2016.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that in 2016, West Virginia had the highest rate of opioid-related overdose deaths (733) in the United States―a rate of 43.4 deaths per 100,000. In 1999, it was 1.8 deaths per 100,000. Many of those deaths stemmed from synthetic opioids and heroin.
Syed M. Hassan
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.