How to Help Neighbors in Need
We all want to see our communities thrive. We want our neighbors and our own families to be taken care of, to be protected. But to do that, we need to take stand up and take the necessary steps to strengthening our community. And to do that, Muslims have to lend a hand and work to ending poverty in our neighborhoods.
While monetary donations are always appreciated and needed, if you can’t give money, try to give your time. The numbers of volunteer opportunities are endless. By donating your time, you can connect with your neighbors, people in need, and help your community reach its full potential.
Here are a few things you can do as a volunteer to help your neighbors in need:
1. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen – Volunteering at a local soup kitchen allows more hungry people to get food faster instead of having to wait in long lines while the number of workers can’t meet the high demand for food. This also gives you some face time with your neighbors in need—you’ll get to see who really needs help and you’ll be in a better position to reach out and lend a hand. Take it a step further and get a group of friends to volunteer with you to maximize your impact! Google your zip code along with the search phrase “soup kitchen” to find a program in your town.
2. Volunteer at the neighborhood food pantry – Or like the soup kitchen, get a group of equally sympathetic souls like you and start one yourself. Some neighbors may have a lot of trouble making ends meet, paying bills and buying groceries. Food pantries help them put dinner on the table for their kids. Google your zip code along with the search phrase “food pantry” to find one in your town where you can easily volunteer.
3. Start a food drive – This is pretty simple: Take a big cardboard box (or a few), place it near the door or corner of the room at your job (or wherever), and place a sign above it, urging people to donate to the food drive. Let them know you are only looking for nonperishable items. When the box is filled (and you may be surprised how quickly it fills), all you have to do is take it to the nearest food pantry.
4. Volunteer at homeless shelters – Cities of any significant size and most towns have at least one homeless shelter or institution that helps homeless individuals obtain meals, beds, shelter and other services. And most of these shelters and institutions welcome any extra hands they can get. Find a program you can volunteer for and help prepare or distribute meals, organize food drives, or work behind the scenes doing office work.
5. Volunteer for Zakat Foundation – We help some of the poorest communities here and abroad. Our volunteers take part in Zakat Foundation programs that help get clean water, food, and other services to some of the most deprived people in the world. For more information contact us.