HOUSTON – Showing a glimpse of Muslim generosity during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, three hundred donors and volunteers attended an emergency fundraising iftar dinner in Houston, Texas, raising approximately $155,000 in relief for Palestinian orphans.
“We felt compelled to do something for the children in Palestine, and (our donors) wanted to do something for them, as well,” Asmaa Syed, Islamic Relief USA’s Houston representative, told OnIslam.net.
“We did great.”
The event was part of Islamic Relief USA’s annual iftar dinners held in different cities around the United States.
Usually donors can choose from which country they wish to sponsor an orphan. However, in light of the ongoing war in Gaza, the Houston event was retooled to benefit only those Palestinian children who have been left parentless as a result of the recent fighting.
Syed said donations will continue to be accepted through the organization’s website, www.irusa.org, until the end of the week.
She said donations for the Houston community are expected to total $160,000.
Islamic Relief USA’s orphan sponsorships are based on a year’s commitment and provide the beneficiary with a range of services.
“(The commitment) is about $60 a month for Palestinian orphans, and that covers food, shelter, clothing, medical needs, education, everything,” said Syed.
“The donor will also get a picture of the child. It’s nice because they can see the child they’re sponsoring and it feels more personal.”
Israel has been launching relentless airstrikes against Gaza since July 8 in which hundreds have been killed and injured in the tiny coastal strip.
Israel occupation forces started a ground invasion of besieged Gaza, home to two millions civilian, on Thursday, July 17.
The Palestinian death toll in an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip rose above 500, mostly civilians, on Monday, July 21.
Dinner participants were treated to two speakers as part of the evening’s program. Joe Bradford, a native Texan who holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Medina in Saudi Arabia, gave those in attendance an overview of what has been going on in Palestine and talked about the plight of orphans there.
Fahad Tasleem, who runs Islam for Working Professionals, spoke to the audience about the importance of raising funds for those children in need and especially those suffering in Gaza.
But it wasn’t just the adults who made the evening a success.
Syed said several children from the Houston community created art pieces, which were then sold off in a silent auction during the dinner event.
“We raised $1,200 just from their pieces,” Syed said.
“It was really cute.”
Islamic Relief USA is hosting several more emergency iftar dinners around the country over the coming week.
Events are slated for July 25 in Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Los Angeles, California.
Each individual ticket costs $20 per person if purchased beforehand and$25 at the door. A table of 10 comes at a cost of $200.
However, individual tickets to the Las Vegas event cost $15 per person and $20 at the door. A table of 10 costs $150. Childcare is available for $10 at the Denver, Las Vegas, and Salt Lake City event.
Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is an international relief and development organization consisting of a family of 15 aid agencies that aims to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people.
Founded in the UK in 1984 with the stated mission of alleviating suffering, hunger, illiteracy and diseases worldwide regardless of color, race or creed, Islamic relief is now the biggest Muslim international relief and development charity in the West.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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