The campaign was introduced to the teachers by Asif Khan, parent of an Al-Rahmah student and Regional Coordinator (Mid Atlantic Region) of Helping Hands Relief and Development U.S.A. (HHRD). “I made a presentation to the teachers at Al-Rahmah School in the hopes of bringing awareness to our youth of Muslims’ responsibility towards orphans” says Brother Asif. Several of the teachers were very enthusiastic about HHRD’s Orphan Sponsorship Program he explains. A committee was formed consisting of teachers, parents, and other school staff. The committee came up with the idea of a class competition to motivate the students with the winning class being awarded a pizza and ice cream party.
‘The program was introduced to the students in December 2012, but really took off in January” explains Donna Khan, Administrative Assistant at Al-Rahmah School. A display was put up with a progress chart tracking the amount of money raised by each class. This encouraged the students to collect more. “They brought in change from their own piggy banks; they asked parents, grandparents, relatives, even did chores for change” says Sister Donna. Several classrooms also collected money from community members after Jummah. “This is the twenty-fifth anniversary year of Al-Rahmah School and it is truly a blessing that our students responded with such enthusiasm, and that parents, relatives, and friends, responded with such generosity states Laura Abdur-Rahman, Principal of Al-Rahmah School.
The goal of the program was to sponsor 13 orphans in 13 countries. The response was so overwhelming that the school raised an astounding $ 10,742.81 and collected enough money to sponsor over 30 orphans for a year.
The school hosted an orphan awareness extravaganza event on February 22, to acknowledge the efforts of the staff and students and to celebrate the school’s accomplishment. The children enjoyed the fun-filled evening getting their faces painted, making art and crafts, jumping on the moon bounce and eating popcorn and cotton candy. Excitement was in the air as the students eagerly awaited the announcement of the winning class; It was a tie for first place. The 5 classrooms that raised more than $1000.00 will be awarded a pizza party in the coming weeks.
The students of Al-Rahmah School will be sent profiles and periodic progress reports of the orphans they have sponsored. “This way they will have a real sense of how their fund-raising efforts have helped impact the life of an orphan” says Brother Asif. “Al-Rahmah School is extremely proud of the entire student body for the tremendous effort demonstrated in raising money for the orphan fund. All of our classes are indeed winners.” says Sister Laura “It is through charity to others that we show our true appreciation for Allah’s mercy.”