The Dar-us-Salaam community is gearing up for the first major fundraising event on December 22 for a new education and community campus in Howard County, Maryland.
The 66-acre property in the rural western portion of Howard County is a former Catholic school campus. Dar-us-Salaam hopes to move its kindergarten through 12th grade Al-Huda School and masjid to the new campus next year.
A contract signed in early August 2012 allows Dar-us-Salaam nine months to obtain zoning approvals. Feasibility studies for environmental and traffic impacts began early this fall, and masjid board members say architectural and engineering work on a proposed site plan are underway. The plans must be approved by Howard County.
Organizers hope all 1200 seats will be filled at the December 22 event. This year the dinner is being held at th North Bethesda Marriott Hotel & Conference Center because the usual Marriott College Park location is being renovated. Usually the ticket price for the annual dinner is $30, but this year the price is $60 which organizers say is needed given the $10 million goal. The speakers this year include Dr. Altaf Husain and Imams Safi Khan, Siraj Wahhaj, and Karim Abu Zaid. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.HomeOfTheHeart.org/annual-dinner or www.duscommunity.org
Although the dinner will be the first large scale, formal event for raising funds for the new campus, the fundraising campaign – called “Home of the Heart” – started soon after the contract was signed.
“We've had smaller information sessions at the homes of some of our generous supporters, and alhumudlillah the funds have been coming in,” said campaign manager Fadlullah Firman.
Dar-us-Salaam's funding development office set-up an online system to empower community members to help raise funds. The system makes it very easy for supporters to set-up their own personal, customizable fundraising webpages which they can use to reach out to their friends and supporters worldwide. “We are confident that if everyone of our supporters uses this [online] system to ask all their contacts for funds, all that money from all over will really make an impact, In Shaa Allah,” said Firman. To start your own campaign page in support of the Home of the Heart, visit www.HomeOfTheHeart.org/start-your-campaign.
Dar-us-Salaam's fundraising strategy involves all levels of funding, from large charitable institutions, to wealthy overseas donors, all the way down to coin jars and car washes. “We want to open up the opportunity for everyone to get involved in this noble project and to share in the immense reward,” added Firman.
To learn more about the campaign for the new campus, visit www.HomeOfTheHeart.org.