Baltimore City residents check out the winter coats being offered for free by ICNA
As Muslims we are encouraged to help our neighbors, whether they are Muslim or not. One of the projects initiated by the local ICNA-DC volunteers in conjunction with ICNA Relief and the Young Muslims this fall was a Winter Coat Drive.
The Drive was advertised through the ICNA-DC website, posters and emails with the heading “Spread The Warmth : Help Us Keep Someone Warm This Winter”. The goal was to collect new or gently used coats for those who are in most need of warmth.
After getting the requisite permissions, boxes were setup in the following masajid in Maryland: Dar Al-Taqwa, Dar-us-Salaam, Islamic Community Center of Laurel, Islamic Center of Maryland, Islamic Society of Baltimore, Islamic Society of Southern Prince Georges County, Islamic Society of Frederick, Islamic Society of the Washington Area, and the Muslim Community Center. In Virginia, the following centers helped collect coats: Badr Community Center, Islamic Community Center of Northern Virginia, and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Center in Alexandria.
Volunteer Arif Mannan helps keep the event running smoothly. Photos courtesy of ICNA.
All together over 250 coats were collected over the first two weekends of December and distributed on December 17, 2011 from the curb side in front of Masjid Al-Mumineen in Baltimore. Most of the coats were given out in the first hour of distribution, which began about after dhuhr prayer. A volunteer with ICNA-DC negotiated a deal with Zipps Dry Cleaners in Columbia to get all coats (except for leather and suede coats) cleaned for $1.99 each. Left over items will be distributed following jummah at Masjid Al-Mumineen in sha Allah. Items not suitable for distribution were discarded. All other winter clothes other than coats were dropped in the large yellow Planet Aid bins for others to use.