USA is a very important part of IRUSA—so important that it’s three of the five letters.
“People are in need everywhere,” U.S. Programs Assistant Sara Hamid says on this week’s “What a Relief!” podcast. “But there’s a hadith that our Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) said, that you help the people in your backyard. … The whole United States is our backyard.”
That’s why IRUSA is working hard on programs inside the United States.
This pleases Mordant.
“That’s what the USA is in IRUSA,” he says. “One of the things I like about your organization is yes, you’re helping people around the world. Yes, you’re taking care of people in Syria and many other places that are far away. But right here in our own backyard, in the good old U.S. of A, you are reaching out and helping all kinds of people.”
This week, Sara offers a glimpse into what IRUSA staff and volunteers are doing here for our neighbors. The projects range from Zakah distribution for people who need emergency rent assistance, to Day of Dignity events serving the homeless, to a summer food program for children implemented with the USDA.
Sara discusses a Day of Dignity in Houston where the recipients—mostly refugees there—get a chance to give back by translating for other refugees and immigrants.
“They enlisted the beneficiaries to be translators,” she said. “… It was an amazing thing for me to see, because it’s hard on a person to have to ask for help, and then when you’re in a position to be able to give help, it helps a lot. It raises your spirit.”
Mordant says, “That’s the law of reciprocation in action — something that I like to see.”
One thing Sara doesn’t like is when the recipients thank her from the heart for work that she feels was really brought to them by other people—volunteers, donors and partner organizations.
“People come up and they always thank me,” she says. “I get embarrassed … I don’t know what to say to these people when they come and thank me.”
Find out Mordan’s advice to Sara on what to say when that happens.
Find out which programs are Sara’s favorites.
Find out what Mordan put Sara on the spot to consider for a future program.
Find out how IRUSA preaches to non-Muslims.
Find out why Mordant couldn’t walk away from IRUSA.
One of the “Find out” statements above is a trick – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org when you figure out which it is and one listener with the correct answer will be chosen at random to receive a prize.
“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Co-hosted by social media specialist B.C. Dodge, and Mordant Mahon, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!