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Over a tasty brunch of eggs, potatoes, pancakes and fruit at Sweet 2th Cafe, Kyle Ismail of Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) shared the organization's desire to increase its involvement with the Prince George?s County Community.
"We have donors that insisted there be a fund where their zakah would be spent locally as per the Quranic teachings."He mentioned a particular donor that called three times to make sure IRUSA started a fund that focused on domestic needs. Brother Kyle then described two of the grants offered by IRUSA: The Zakah Partnership Program and the Food Distribution Program.
IRUSA?s Zakah Partnerships program works with local organizations to address the needs of individuals and families struggling with short and long term economic distress. Interested organizations include masaajid and Muslim 501(c)3 organizations.
A history of good financial and administrative management is important since reporting is required. Kyle relayed a story about a well known organization that received a zakah grant which had to be rescinded because they couldn?t properly manage the funds. ?An organization has to have the capacity to handle these grants. We have to answer to our donors as well as being prepared to open our books to the federal government?, stated Ismail.?
He also discussed the Food Distribution program. IRUSA works with the Mid-Atlantic Gleaning Network. Interested organizations can arrange with Islamic Relief to package and pick up the food and distribute it to the needy. IRUSA also opened their first Giving Grain Food Pantry location on August 4, 2012, in Washington, DC, in Ward 8. They have joined forces with America?s Islamic Heritage Museum and Masjid Muhammed to serve the community.
Representatives from Prince George?s Muslim Association, Masjid Ibn Taymiyyah, Islamic Society of Southern Prince George?s County, and IRHSCA in Capitol Heights attended the brunch. Masaajid and organizations seeking more information should go to the Islamic Relief USA website at http://www.irusa.org.
?We participated in the Day of Dignity with Islamic Relief?, stated Taalib Abdul-Samad of IRHSCA. ?It was a lot of work but people still ask about it.?
Prince George's County Muslim Council is a non-profit grass roots organization whose mission is to promote the involvement of Muslim residents in the civic and political affairs of the county. Learn more at www.pgcmc.org.