Every day, Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) volunteers give back to humanity. By funding water wells for impoverished villages, rebuilding homes in Gaza, and sponsoring orphans, ZF volunteers are using their creativity, energy, and heart to make the world a better place.
Thanks to their ambition and hard work, more than $100,000 has been raised by multiple volunteer groups. To recognize their amazing achivements, ZF organized its first Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. The private event was held at the Unity Center at the ZF Chicago office.
The night began with an awards ceremony where Mr. Halil Demir, Executive Director of ZF, personally thanked every group — which included young children, college organizations, and local community members — with plaques and certificates.
ZF Outreach Coordinator and host of the event, Abdelhamid Omran, described the success of the event, saying, “When receiving awards, a lot of people were surprised — it made them feel like it was the special night that they deserved. I was very pleased with the turnout. We had a full house.”
“It was an inspiring night, to recognize the fact that all that hard work made a difference in someone’s life,” said Ahmad Sarhan, a member of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at Oak Lawn High School. “It’s a feeling of love and humanity, something I will strive to stay familiar with by helping those in need.”
After the awards ceremony, ZF premiered a new video highlighting ZF volunteers’ efforts. While most of the volunteer groups are based in the Chicagoland area, some made the drive from southern Illinois and Indiana.
“No nonprofit flourishes or does work without the help of volunteers,” Mr. Omran added. “We’ve never had the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to our volunteers as properly as we’d like to, so this was our way of doing so. This night was meant for them.”
After the awards, Kareem Ibrahim took the stage to perform a few well-known nasheeds (songs) in Arabic, followed by spoken word poems by Selma Demir.
“I would say that the event was very humbling and it gave me motivation to do more in the future Insha’Allah (God willing),” said Umar Farooq, a member of UMMA (United Muslims Moving Ahead) at DePaul University.
Do you want to make a positive difference in the world? Brainstorm creative fundraising ideas with your student organization or local community! Contact the ZF Outreach team at firstname.lastname@example.org.