As our group discussed what drove us to host this fundraising event, we came to the conclusion that we volunteered because our conscience is still there, which helped us in discerning between right and wrong. We felt that people’s miseries are inflicted by the wrong and self-interest decisions of our megalomaniac leaders. So, as citizens of this world who don’t believe in boundaries of a country, religion or race, who are well-informed about the issues to decide what is right and wrong, we consider it our moral responsibility to take a stand and tell people whose side we are on. For this reason, we use volunteering as a means to take a stand against the oppression and cruelty. We found ourselves helpless when we saw the inhumanity and injustice people in Syria are going through. Today, people in Syria are going through a cruel treatment that no living organism deserves. We felt for those people, but we couldn’t find a way to alleviate their pain and suffering. Therefore, instead of ignoring the situation simply because it’s not affecting our daily lives, we decided to choose a path where all we had to sacrifice was our time.
We are students from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and we are officers of the Muslim Student Association. The motive of our association is to enlighten others about our religion and highlight the real image of Muslims. We consider volunteering as one of the primary means to showcase the ethics of our religion. This year, we also volunteered with Helping Hands Organization to send almost 10,000 tons of aid to Syria. This aid consisted of items such as food and clothing for men, women and children. Donations were accepted for several days and then were packed for shipment. After reaching our goal of 10,000 tons, donations were transferred in a shipping container bound for Syria. This time, on the other hand, we organized a fundraising event on campus, and we gladly received great support from the community. We collected more than $900 by selling customized T-shirts. We regularly organize such events for three main reasons. First, to provide a platform to allow people who care to take part in helping. Second, to inspire others to get involved in such noble causes. Lastly, to spread awareness about the situation.
There might be many reasons for why people volunteer, such as for networking or building resumes. For members of our association, volunteering is a way of giving back to causes we believe in. Doing something good for others is satisfying for us. Not only do we get a chance to change somebody’s life, but we also get to initiate a chain reaction to spark interest in people and get them to work selflessly and help those who need it. In the future, we plan on organizing more of such events where people can volunteer and prove to the world that humanity is still alive.
Zia Ansari, MSA President
Rima Abusaid, Secretary
Ramsha Durrani, Vice President
Turki Elnefaie, Treasurer