Working Together for a Better World | The Inspiration

The hard work and dedication the Islamic Relief USA community has put in day in and day out for nearly 30 years to serve millions of our brother and sisters in need around the world has inspired officials, influencers, leaders, interfaith organizations, Islamic scholars, renowned speakers, government representatives, community members, and many others to put in a good word.

Officials | The Reach

Islamic Relief is honored not only to receive messages from members of US Congress commending our humanitarian and advocacy work and sharing Ramadan greetings, but also letter’s from US Senators recognizing Eid and the humanitarian contributions of IR and Muslim Americans!

Senator Bob Casey Pennsylvania

Sen. Bob Casey
Pennsylvania

2004 101

Sen. Dianne Feinstein
California

Senator John Cornyn Texas

Sen. John Cornyn
Texas

Senator Maggie Hassan

Sen. Maggie Hassan
New Hampshire

Senator Mazie Hirono

Sen. Mazie Hirono
Hawaii

Senator Maria Cantwell

Sen. Maria Cantwell
Washington

Senator Mark Kelly Arizona

Sen. Mark Kelly
Arizona

Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock Georgia

Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock
Georgia

Senator Ted Cruz Texas

Sen. Ted Cruz
Texas

Senator Tina Smith Minnesota

Sen. Tina Smith
Minnesota

Senator Tom Carper Delaware

Sen. Tom Carper
Delaware

People We Serve | The Stories

Stories from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and here at home!

Africa

Saida, a widow and mother of five from Kenya, is one of many people that your donations reached during Qurbani last year. She cooks and sells mandazi (a fried bread dish) by the roadside to earn a living and support her family.

“Buying meat can be a challenge because of our low income. Sometimes we have to supplement it with something cheaper like eggs or greens. It is not possible to spend all day’s wages on meat.”

Islamic Relief was able to provide Saida and her family with the gift of meat this Eid so that they may enjoy this blessed holiday.

“My family is very grateful for those who sacrificed to share with us. My family will really enjoy the meat dish today and tomorrow. May Allah bless the donors. Thank you so much.”

Asia

Hajra lives in Pakistan. Her father is sick, so her brother and her are the breadwinners of the family. They sell street food to provide for their family. Hajra really likes to learn, and was given the opportunity to through Islamic Relief.

Europe

Bahrije lives in Kosovo with her two sons. It’s been hard for her to provide for her family since the passing of her husband. One of her sons is afflicted with cerebral palsy, while the other is stuck at home because she cannot afford to send him to college.

“What can [I] say? We try our best to earn enough to run the house but there is no work and we rely only on Allah. Meat is not cooked in our house for months on end. It is very difficult for me and my family to buy meat because I’m not working and we [live on the] social assistance that we get per month. The price of meat is high and we [can’t] afford to buy it.”

Islamic Relief was able to provide Bahrije and her family with the gift of meat this Eid so that they may enjoy this blessed holiday together.

“It helped us a lot and we are very thankful to [Islamic Relief] for providing us the meat. May Allah grant you paradise for making it possible to have this fresh meat on our tables for me and my family.”

Latin America

Tony lives in the western region of Puerto Rico and has lived through four hurricanes. When Hurricane Maria wiped through his hometown, Islamic Relief was on the ground providing water, food, and cash assistance.

Middle East

Abdulhameed and his family of seven live in a small village in Yemen. Since the start of the war, the village has been faced with severe challenges.

He said, “Before the crisis, [things were] easier, but now we are deprived of necessities such as food, and [can’t afford] luxuries. My salary is not enough, and we have to focus [only] on the provision of basic needs.” His village is one of many struggling as a result of the war. “This war has affected us mentally, financially, and physically,” he added.

With the help of Islamic Relief’s Ramadan food distribution, Abdulhameed is able to save money and provide his family with things they lack. “This helped me a lot. I can save money in order to buy my children things that would be useful,” Abdulhameed said, “Islamic Relief did great work and made tremendous efforts to reach and help us with our daily struggles in this holy month by providing this food basket.”

USA

Basher is from Syria. In 2012, he was tortured, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. His mother was his sole caretaker, but they didn’t have access to the physical therapy he needed in Syria. He fled with his mother to Jordan in search of treatment and received therapy for two years, but was unable to continue due to financial struggles. It was then that he decided to seek refuge in the US.

“I thank Allah (SWT) everyday [that] I’m quadriplegic because there is a purpose. Allah is creating a plan for us.”

He currently resides in the US with his mother. Basher took English lessons and wants to be a translator or work with computers. With the help of Islamic Relief, Basher and his mother moved to a new home and he was able to go to physical therapy. In early 2019, he took his first steps since he left Syria. And with therapy, he hopes he can do more. In 2021, Basher graduated from his community college with a 4.0 gpa and is now attending a four year university.

Volunteers | The Support

Behind the Blueshirts

1. Our message has been to envision a better world. Was being part of IRUSA Blueshirts part of your vision? How did you get into service?

My personal life mission as a Muslim woman, has always been to aspire to the highest form of my being through servitude to Allah (SWT) and service to others. I believe that through compassion and education we can transform lives and communities and promote development and growth, especially among the most vulnerable.

My personal beliefs are reflected in Islamic Relief’s core values – excellence, sincerity, social justice, compassion, and custodianship. These values are derived from divine revelation and prophetic examples that guide Islamic Relief’s mission resonate with me personally.

IRUSA’s work is driven by a sense of gratitude to our creator, executed with integrity and patience. Thus, when I met Br. Belkacem Nahi, a regional manager at IRUSA, at an event in Charlotte, NC, he encouraged me to join the IRUSA family and become a regular volunteer. It was only natural that I got involved and eventually volunteered to do community outreach and organizing in Charlotte. Envisioning a better world is what we aspire for. I am so intrigued by the work IRUSA does domestically and worldwide.

I see our vision aligned perfectly. It’s what we all hope and work for, a world of preserved human dignity, prosperity and absence of suffering for all humanity, instilling justice and promoting growth in vulnerable communities. The reason I’m grateful to Allah for facilitating for me to take a small part volunteering for this giant organization.

2. One common value among IRUSA Blueshirts has been a commitment to compassion. We’ve seen it expressed countless times. Could you tell us a bit about how you’ve seen compassion play out during your time as a volunteer? 

Absolutely, kindness and compassion envelopes all the work of IR. Whether it’s restoring houses after a disaster hits or providing care packages and food parcels to the local neighborhood. There are so many that come to mind. But, one particular moment touched my heart. During the early stages of Covid-19, I got involved in a disaster response project led by Br. Said Durrah of the Volunteer department and Sr. Gihan Ahmed of the Disaster Response Team.

We needed to secure 1,500 masks from Charlotte. I turned to an Afghan refugee family who had only resettled in the United States a few years ago and had just found their footing. I knew they were skilled at sewing and asked if they would like to help make masks. Their teenage daughter was eager to participate in this project and provide relief to American doctors and nurses during Covid-19. She wanted to pay it forward and to give to the community as a member of the community. It gave her a sense of belonging and American pride.

3. What project have you enjoyed taking part in the most? 

In September 2019, we prepared 25,000 meal packs to send to countries in Africa and domestically. Alongside Salman Zaman, from the Marketing department, we worked with 50 volunteers from diverse religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. We came together as strangers but we left as friends, bonded over combating hunger.

Donors and Supporters | The IR Community 

Islamic Relief USA is not just our organization, it’s yours. And together we are working for a better world.

Featured speakers: Imam Suhaib Webb, Imam Zaid Shakir, Fawad Khan, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Rep. Andre Carson, Linda Sarsour, Imam Mohamed Magid, Dr. Yasir Qadhi, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Ustadh Ubaydullah Evans, Imam Omar Suleiman, Sheikh Hasib Noor, Ustadha Ieasha Prime, Imam Khalid Latif, Sheikh Hassan Lachheb, Dr. Daoud Nassimi, and Naeem Muhammad.

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