It is that time of the year again when children, families, and schools throughout the nation are getting ready for the start of the new school year. This means having to purchase backpacks and school supplies, which unfortunately, many schools and families cannot afford due to budget cuts and financial situations. Therefore, ICNA Relief USA stepped up to the challenge. As ICNA-VA President Rameez Abid stated, â€œEducation is a key element to a lasting, fulfilling, and successful life and ICNA fully supports it with a passion. We believe every child should have the opportunity to get a good education, even the less fortunate among them, and a lack of school supplies should not create a barrier for that goal.â€
Throughout August and September, ICNA Relief and its many divisions and branches started the Back-2-School Giveaway where thirty-thousand total backpacks filled with basic school supplies were given away to children in low-income areas. The giveaway events took place in over 21 states, including in Michigan.
Muslim Family Services, a division of ICNA Relief, held a giveaway at Al-Ikhlas Training Academy in Detroit. Al-Ikhlas is a K-12 Islamic school that serves one of the neediest areas in Michigan. Although tuition is expected to attend the school, many, if not most, of the studentsâ€™ families are unable to afford it, but nonetheless they send their children to the school in the hope of raising them in an Islamic environment.
The giveaway was held as part of the student assembly in which MFS Director, Sheikh Ali Suleiman, and Administrator, Yousuf Vaid, along with the Al-Ikhlas Training Academy Director, Nadir Ahmed and Principals, Nafeesa Mahdi, Sayeeda Rashid, and Assistant Principal, Abdul Latif Alkusari, gave short speeches and words of encouragement to the students. All the speakers insisted on the students to do their best in school, attend college, to dream big and to make sure their dreams come true. Sheikh Ali also encouraged the students to refer back to the past when Muslim scientists and other professionals led the world in advancements and how they should believe they could do the same.
At the end of the assembly, the students lined up to receive their backpacks from MFS staff and volunteers. Eleventh and twelfth graders received ICNA Relief polo shirts in addition to backpacks. Smiles were abound throughout the prayer hall where the giveaway took place. Children immediately opened their backpacks to look at the school supplies within.
It was an atmosphere of positive energy and one with hope that this small act will allow these children to have a comfortable and productive school year. See photos from the event below!
To learn more, please visit the following links:
– Muslim Family Services- www.muslimfamilyservices.org
– ICNA Relief USA – www.icnareliefusa.org
– Al-Ikhlas Training Academy- http://www.al-ikhlastrainingacademy.com
*Reprinted with permission from Muslim Family Services