Game Night Fundraiser Exceeds Goals

group of kids sitting around with big smiles kids by the video gamse sectionThe rules were simple. Be respectful, use indoor voices, and, more importantly, have fun. Last week, the Muslim Homeschoolers of Chicago partnered with Zakat Foundation of America and the Islamic Center of Wheaton (ICW) for a successful game night that raised funds to build two water wells overseas.

Amal Ali, the Outreach Manager at Zakat Foundation of America, collaborated with a local Muslim homeschool chapter on humanitarian service projects that would interest the youth. “I presented a few of our current campaigns and donating water wells really grabbed their attention,” says Ms. Ali. “Although I was a facilitator in terms of planning, the game night was mainly student-run and they did a great job.”

The event attracted a large audience of families despite minimal publicity. The main room was divided by tables with each table reserved for a different game. While parents conversed and played chess or board games, younger kids flocked to the henna, face-paint, and calligraphy.

Meanwhile, many of the boys couldn’t take their eyes off the videogame section between intense games of FIFA. The bake sale was especially busy with a long line for snacks and ICW even offered free babysitting services.

Alhamdulillah, the game night event contributions were not only enough for one well but two, stirring much excitement and applause from the crowd. It was decided one well is going to bear the name of the Muslim Homeschoolers of Chicago, while the other will be dedicated in the name of ICW because of the center’s gracious support. The plan now is to build two wells in West Africa.

“The surprising part was how much money we ended up raising,” says Mehmood, 15, one of the youth organizers. “It’s pretty awesome to do something like this and put wells in villages where they don’t even get water. We’re providing relief and improving lives.”

"We live in a very blessed country,” says Reema, 13, another dedicated youth organizer. “We should take advantage of our freedoms and help people in this life. That’s our purpose. Zakat Foundation is great for joining with us and we wish to help more people.”

The outreach program at Zakat Foundation of America stays consistently active throughout the year with various youth groups becoming involved in Zakat Foundation of America-sponsored campaigns, including those of building water wells and sponsoring orphans. If you would like to collaborate on an event, such as the game night, please feel free to contact [email protected] or visit our Get Involved page.