Spreading the Warmth of Your Generosity in Our Communities
February 8, 2017
Subzero temperatures threatened Chicago residents once again this winter, and not everyone could afford to stay adequately covered on such frigid days. In danger of frostbite, people use whatever materials they can to keep warm.
Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) held winter kit distributions internationally as well as domestically, providing more than a thousand winter coats in the Midwest and East Coast.
In the Chicago area, ZF distributed 320 coats in the South Shore neighborhood and to the Rohingya Culture Center.
“Winter time is a harsh season, and unfortunately it is people who don’t have much to begin with who are most impacted by it,” said U.S. Programs Coordinator Marcus Knight. “They lack the resources like coats, boots, hats and gloves, needed to deal with the frigid temperatures and snow, which restricts movement and ultimately limits their ability to care for themselves and loved ones.”
Mr. Knight said he’s seen it too many times with people living in Chicago, but ZF recognized this reality and provided resources to help address it. He distributed coats during Chicago’s first snow of the winter, and he said it was a powerful experience because he got to give to people at such a critical time.
He said that it was on that day, as ZF passed out coats during the snowfall, that he was able to see how the organization’s work directly benefited people’s lives.
In the East Coast, ZF staff and volunteers distributed 320 coats in and around Delaware, and 120 in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas. ZF also distributed 65 winter coats to refugee families from Sudan, Iraq and Syria after a Friday prayer ceremony at the Islamic Society of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania. Brother Murat Kose of ZF’s Delaware office distributed 40 more coats at a mosque in Brooklyn. More than 100 families (at least 500 people) in North Carolina received donated winter coats and clothing, Brother Murat said.
ZF distributed 50 winter coats to a homeless shelter through the Zubaida Foundation in Philadelphia. ZF also gave out 50 coats along with hand-made scarves and hats at the Wilmington Downtown Mosque, Masjid al Kauthar, on a rainy day as part of a Giving Tuesday event on Dec. 6, 2016.
ZF would not be able to help this many cold, needy people this winter without support from generous donors.