“It was Black Friday, and this is the time where even the stores celebrate the consumer culture born out of [our] neocolonial economic system--with new window displays and in-store decorations and lay-outs. [I] walked past a store that had an especially elaborate and eye-catching window display, and there was a homeless man in a wheelchair a little ahead of us. He stopped pushing his wheelchair turned it towards the window-front, and sat there full-on staring at the window. That takes ‘window shopping’ to a whole new level. I wonder when was the last time he even had a sweater without any holes in it, let alone in a hipster color with a hipster print,” says Meena Malik, a writer and college student.
She saw him amongst “people with arm fulls of shopping bags, cups of hot cocoa or coffee in their hands, scrolling through their cell phones or laughing with a loved one at their side.” The “sheer need and poverty of one, the wasteful indulgence of others. Existing side by side. Two different worlds, one walking past the other, having ignored that to the cusp of oblivion. The other stopped in his tracks, soaking in the dystopic mix of color, texture, advertising and marketing schemes, Black Friday craze, his situation of need,” brings her to her knees.
This scene is plays out across the country during the holiday season, and to do their part to provide some relief, Project Affinity will partner with CAIR-Maryland and the Islamic Society of Annapolis to launch the first annual statewide winter clothing drive on December 2, 2013 as part of a "Faith in Action" campaign. According to CAIR, this is the first large-scale initiative of its kind involving numerous masajid and Muslim organizations that have partnered to serve the less fortunate in Maryland.
Numerous participating area mosques will serve as drop-off locations. Items to be collected include new or gently-used coats, sweaters, gloves, scarves, and hats.
Statistics show that approximately almost 2,500 people are homeless each night in Baltimore City. In Washington, D.C., that number triples to over 6,500 people. As cold weather sets in, they are unable to adequately protect themselves from the elements.
The drive will last from December 2, 2013 – December 23, 2013. The drop-off locations are:
Islamic Society of Western
Maryland, 2036 Day Rd.
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Islamic Society of Baltimore, 6631 Johnnycake Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21244
Muslim Community Center,
15200 New Hampshire Ave,
Silver Spring, MD 20905
Dar at Taqwa,
10740 Maryland 108,
Ellicott City, MD 21042
Islamic Society of Annapolis,
814 Brandy Farms Lane,
Gambrills, MD 21054
Islamic Community Center of Laurel, 7306 Contee Road,
Laurel, MD, 20707
Islamic Society of the Washington Area, 2701 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring, MD 20905
Masjid Ibn Taymiyya,
8000 Martin Luther King Jr Highway,
Glenarden, MD 20706
3312 Hollins Ferry Road,
Halethorpe, MD 21227
CONTACT: Zainab Chaudry, firstname.lastname@example.org, (410) 971-6062, Irfan Aziz, email@example.com Donations will be sorted and delivered to homeless shelters in Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, D.C. [Source: CAIR-MD]