Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) staff gifted 90 turkeys to the needy of Chicago’s Chatham community yesterday at the BOPBiz Center, ZF’s partner in the giveaway.
“Alhamdulillah! The event was a wonderful success, and we were out of turkeys by 10 a.m.,” said Rashida Muhammad, ZF’s U.S. Programs Coordinator — just 20 minutes after the open-door affair kicked off.
“It was an exciting whirlwind of sharing thanks and passing out turkeys. It also was amazing to meet so many wonderfully grateful people who shared their stories as to why they were thankful for the turkeys.”
One woman said she had two jobs and was on her break from one to pick up the turkey to feed her three children.
Another recipient stepped up to get his turkey, threw his arms in the air and exclaimed, “Praise the Lord!” He said he was “so grateful” because now he wouldn’t “go home empty-handed” to his wife. They’d have “a great dinner!”
“We were there to help,” said Muhammad, “and it was a blessing to be a part of it.”
Muhammad described BOPBiz Center staff as absolutely amazing, naming Director Roland Davis and Kesha Leach, among others.
“We thank Zakat Foundation for supplying the turkeys, and we were happy to provide the space,” said Davis. “I believe that Chatham felt our presence and felt our mutual commitment to make a difference.”
Zakat Foundation has done turkey giveaways before, including in Chicago’s Englewood and South Shore communities. It shows ZF’s growing commitment to planned local charitable opportunities pegged to calendar occasions.
The Foundation now regularly provides city school children with Back-to-School Backpacks stocked with learning supplies in cooperation with well-known neighborhood associations.
It also sponsors anti-violence campaigns with local groups targeting youth with the aim of undoing menacing gun culture in high-incidence communities.
“It was a great feeling,” said Nestor Martinez, who helped transport the turkeys to the program. “As we were driving back to ZF headquarters, I would see people at the bus stops holding their turkeys. That made me happy they were bringing dinner home, but it also made me think of the sacrifice people had to make to get out there to do it.”