By Susan Schwartz, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
The UMMA Community Clinic of Los Angeles celebrated its tenth anniversary at a banquet/fundraiser in Costa Mesa, Ca. this past weekend.
Tickets for the gala were sold to more than 900 people for the September 16 event. Those who attended came to honor the clinicâ€™s ten years of dedicated service, and helped the clinic raise more than $300,000 for its future.
The keynote speaker for the event was Hamza Yusuf, founder of the Zaytuna Institue in Hayward, California. The Zaytuna Institute is a non-profit educational institute and school.
Its founders believe Islam offers the most cohesive understanding of the world and its forces. The mission of the Zaytuna Institute is to provide the highest quality educational programs, materials and training in the traditional sciences of Islam.
The fundraiser was Imam Siraj Wahaj, a figure well-known in the Muslim community. To list but a few of his activities, he is the imam at Masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn, New York; he serves on the board of directors of CAIR; and he heads the Muslim Alliance of North America.
The ambiance of the evening was celebratory and festive, and the diverse audience consisted of non-Muslims as well as Muslims. The enthusiasm could be felt not only in the speakers and the audience but also in the speech and demeanor of those who introduced the speakers.
Distinguished guests in the audience included California State Senator Mark Ridley Thomas and distinguished Islamic scholar Sadullah Khan of the Islamic Center of Irvine, Ca.
The UMMA Community Clinic, located in the heart of South Central Los Angeles, is the first free standing Muslim Free Clinic in the United States. It offers free primary care medical services which include: HIV/AIDS testing, immunizations, gynecology and physical examinations.
UMMA is partly funded by grants and donations. On its Board of Directors are Muslims and non-Muslims and also patients, making it a truly community-based organization. It has received the highest level of certification by the federal government.
Over 170 patients are seen weekly at the UMMA Community Clinic. UMMA is the â€œfamily doctorâ€ to more than 25,000 adults and children, often their only source of health care. Most of the patients are non-Muslim, and there is no question that UMMA has helped to counter the slander of anti-Muslim hysteria so prevalent in the United States.
Beyond medical care, the clinic participates in health fairs, food and clothing distribution, and public health seminars.
Contributions: 711 Florence Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. 90044, or access the clinic on the Web using the following address: www.ummaclinic.org.