DETROIT, Mich.- In the spirit of Ramadan, Detroit area Muslims will gather together near the end of a 16-hour fast to participate in the Fasting 5K. The Fasting 5K run/walk will take place on Saturday, June 2, to raise funds for youth safety programs against violence on a local and international level.
Eleven cities and hundreds of participants will embrace the spirit of the month by fasting, fundraising and building community through this annual 5K event. The event will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Muslim Community of Western Suburbs (MCWS) located at 40440 Palmer Rd. in Canton, and is open to everyone in the community.
This is the fourth year of participation for Detroit, and about 100 people are expected to participate. Proceeds from this event are annually directed towards youth development and educational programs. This year, event organizers are working with organizations providing resources for youth safety against violence, and have selected The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center to receive a portion of the Detroit area proceeds. The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center, located at 1150 S. Canton Center Road in Canton, MI, provides a fun, teen-friendly environment where students from ages 11-17 can participant in supervised afterschool programs, social events and activities.
“The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center is thrilled to be one of this year’s recipients of proceeds from this annual Detroit area event,” said Laura Mortier, CPRP, recreation specialist. “We are grateful that Fasting5K participants are choosing to hold this fundraising event after observing a long day of abstaining from food and water during the holy month of Ramadan. This shows just how dedicated they are to making a difference in our community.”
For their international charity, all participating Fasting 5K cities are fundraising for OBAT Helpers, a 501(C) 3, non-profit organization committed to providing humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees who escaped genocide and persecution and are living in camps in Bangladesh. OBAT has worked to establish learning centers for 10,000 children, a fully-functioning medical center, clean water facilities and shelter for families.
Since its inception in 2013, Fasting 5K has raised over $250,000 to support local charities based in the participating cities. Fasting 5K was created to further general acts of goodness during Ramadan, which is a holy month celebrated by the Islamic faith, where healthy Muslims forgo food and water from sunrise to sunset. This year’s participating cities are Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, northern Chicagoland, downtown Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, New York City, Oakland, Toronto and Washington D.C.
“Safe, stable and nurturing environments are critical for young children,” said Jabeen Siddiqui Hamzavi, Fasting 5K lead for Detroit. “Whether it is in a suburb in Michigan, or a refugee camp in Bangladesh, all children are entitled to these fundamentals in order to thrive physically and emotionally. Participating in Fasting 5K is unique way for communities to join together to raise money for charities that support youth safety in their community and abroad.”