Muslims help local communities amidst economic crisis
This August and September, over 5,000 needy children across New York City will receive free school bags filled with supplies including notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, rulers, crayons and more.
ICNA Relief, a division of The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a NY based national organization, plans to give out free school bags and school supplies to different communities all across NY.
This initiative is part of ICNA’s national Back 2 School Giveaway Project, which is hosting over 30 similar events across the U.S. These efforts hope to help over 25,000 children nationwide.
“Many families in New York are under financial pressure; some have lost jobs and find it difficult to buy school supplies for their children,” said Salman Khan, Project Director for ICNA NY. “We hope this initiative will cater to these needs of low-income families, and help build a better future for our children.”
According to a survey by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) of 453 school administrators across 45 states, budget cuts are noticeably more significant this school year than they were in either 2008-09 or 2009-10. In the March 2010 survey, they found that 78 percent of districts planned to cut budgets in 2010-11, up from 64 percent in 2009-10. (by Jim Hull, Center for Public Education’s Senior Policy Analyst).
Unfortunately, to compensate for budget cuts schools are asking parents to take the impact and fill the shortfall by buying, not just supplies for their own students, but also buying supplies for the classrooms. For families who struggle financially because of job loss or low paying jobs in our community, buying school supplies has become a financial crisis.
Islam teaches us, “A person is not a Muslim who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.” Through the Back 2 School Giveaway, ICNA hopes to both help struggling families provide for their children and to be good neighbors as the Islamic faith obligates on Muslims.
ICNA NY will be hosting giveaways this August and September in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester. ICNA was able to bring school bags, school supplies and smiles to over 3,500 children in New York City last year.
ICNA Back 2 School Giveaway
To view all of our giveaway locations please visit www.back2schoolgiveaway.com.
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through social services, outreach and education. For more information visit www.icna.org.