One of the most powerful storms to hit Florida, Hurricane Ian has spread widespread devastation, leaving more than 2.5 million people without power and trapping residents in their homes. Unfortunately, the storm is now being referred to as one of Florida’s deadliest in decades.
IRUSA’s Disaster Response Team (DRT) is working closely with first responders on the ground, including the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and is deploying staff and volunteers Monday, October 3, to help survivors receive disaster assessments and more. Local IRUSA staff have also already helped distribute essential items, like water, to affected residents. This page will continue to be updated as information is made available.
Donate now and help our neighbors in Florida. And click here to start an IRaise to raise more funds and awareness with your friends, family, and networks.
Homelessness, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water access, sanitation, and health care aren’t just international problems. They exist right here at home in our neighborhoods. The end of 2020 brought the sharpest rise in the U.S. poverty rate since the 1960s, according to a study by the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame, placing the poverty rate now at 11.8%.
Much, but not all, of this can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, but the suffering of so many American families extends well beyond that:
For instance, “Black Americans were more than twice as likely to be poor as their White counterparts in December—an improvement from the summer months when they were nearly three times more apt to live in poverty—but an increase from before the pandemic, when the differential was under 2,” reports Bloomberg.
And when disaster strikes, like brutal winter weather, tornadoes, wildfires, or man-made tragedies, the need for urgent aid and support grows exponentially especially for families already vulnerable to poverty and suffering.
As Islam teaches us, charity starts at home, and that’s why Islamic Relief USA is dedicated to supporting work across America that makes sure families have shelter, kids have food, and disaster survivors and refugees get the support they need. In 2020 alone, IRUSA reached vulnerable communities in more than 350 cities nationwide!
Here’s just a sampling of our recent efforts across the U.S.
Islamic Relief USA is now part of a network of organizations that are helping resettle Afghan refugees in states across the US.
As part of this special program, IRUSA will recruit, vet, and train community partners who will commit to providing key services and financial support to newly-arriving Afghans in their communities for at least the first 90 days after they are resettled.
Through our partnership with 28 community groups in the IRUSA network, we are disbursing hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid more than 37,000 Afghan newcomers by providing hot meals, food vouchers, shelter, rental assistance, mental health and psychosocial support, free medical support, legal consultations, cash assistance, ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, and job trainings. Below is a listing of the community groups we are working with to see this through:
In addition to the resettlement efforts, here are just some of the ways IRUSA donors helped Afghan refugees when they first started arriving late last year.
Your advocacy, volunteerism, and donations are how we can help support and get aid to Afghan families who are in desperate need right now.
IRUSA is taking requests for willing and able individuals and families to host an Afghan family newly-arrived to the US. If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, please fill out the form below to receive more information, including training materials. Please note: filling out the form does not commit you to being a sponsor, or guarantee that you will be placed as a sponsor.
Questions? Please contact us at email@example.com.
As much as we’ve been able to achieve in helping our neighbors in need and refugee newcomers, there is still so much more to do. If we work together—with YOU—we can make the vision of a better living condition for our vulnerable community members a reality.
Please donate now and help break the chains of poverty and pain for our most-vulnerable neighbors.
Basher was the first client of a special program IRUSA donors put together to help refugees new to the States, by providing support like rent assistance and case management, as well as guiding them through social services and getting them acclimated to their new communities. What made this program really special is that it was dedicated to those who have had difficulty settling because of medical conditions or psychological trauma and low English proficiency.
Basher, a refugee from Syria, was this program’s first client.
His road here was difficult: He was tortured in Syria, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. He escaped with his mother, and now found himself in a completely new place, not knowing how to restart.
In comes the IRUSA program for refugees. Basher made this important connection and got to work right away on setting himself up for success. IRUSA provided him with a laptop, assistance with rent and essential needs for him and his mother, networking opportunities, and more.
Basher started taking English lessons for 20 hours a week. IRUSA’s Wasif Qureshi, who worked directly with Basher, added that Basher wanted to work with computers or be a translator. As he worked first on creating a resume and improving his English, Basher set his sights on getting a job. Basher even helped IRUSA with translation services for other refugees in the community.
Two years after coming to the States, Basher had enrolled in college. Throughout his studies, Basher maintained a very high GPA (grade point average), and recently graduated with that 3.9! He’s moving forward with this studies at a four-year university. On top of that, Basher and his mother moved to a new home through the help of IRUSA, and Basher is going through physical therapy.
But the most remarkable part of his journey so far is likely this: He took his first steps upstairs!! And now, in 2021, he told us he bought a car and is driving. With therapy, he hopes he can do more.