Each Ramadan, IMAN organizes the Refresh the ‘Hood Challenge at select Muslim Run corner stores. Refresh the ‘Hood is a collaboration between M.U.R.A.L (formerly the Lupe Fiasco Foundation) and IMAN, which supplies corner stores with subsidized produce to sell at a discounted rate. Four stores received a weekly supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. Throughout the month, IMAN leaders engaged residents through basic wellness outreach and education at the corner stores. Free fresh fruit smoothies were provided by our partners at Al Bawadi Grill.
This year, IMAN deepened the Refresh the ‘Hood effort with cooking demonstrations and by installing new display baskets for affordable produce in the corner stores. Nutritionists from UIC’s Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion demonstrated simple recipes only using ingredients found inside the corner stores, while educating attendees about the health benefits of those foods.
Refresh the ‘Hood continues to serve as a powerful example of the impact health and wellness practices can have at corner stores. Thanks to our cosponsor, M.U.R.A.L.; our partners at UIC, Al Bawadi Grill and EverThrive Illinois; and the many IMAN leaders who all helped make this year’s Refresh the ‘Hood Challenge a success.
During Ramadan, the Green ReEntry cohort began rehab work on the property at 6055 S. Washtenaw Avenue. Originally built as a single-family home in the 1920s, the property is being restored for 2015 and beyond. Once the renovation is completed, the home will feature an open-layout kitchen and dining room, a huge master bedroom and bath equipped with a whirlpool tub, and a private office with a “hidden” spiral staircase, and two guest bedrooms with a full bath. IMAN has actively sought to secure a qualified buyer who has already been pre-approved by the lender and the City of Chicago.
IMAN recognizes that today’s growing green building industry is a promising place to launch a successful career. The beginning step for the Green ReEntry crew was deconstruction training, a skill that serves as an entrée into virtually every trade within the construction industry. With the skills they acquire working alongside other skilled tradesmen on the job, the Green ReEntry program participants have the potential to become construction foremen, carpenters, electricians, painters and plumbers.
After just the first week of deconstruction training, our crew members were complemented on their work ethic. Supervisors told them that they had all the qualities necessary for a successful career as contractors in the industry!
After a month of hot days, hard work and hearty iftars, IMAN extends its most humble and heartfelt thanks to all of our supporters. The immense generosity demonstrated by donors helped us not only reach but exceed our 2015 Ramadan Drive goal. This year, contributions from across the nation helped us set a Ramadan Drive record!
Individuals and families alike came together in so many different capacities to make this Ramadan a truly unforgettable one. Their gifts, whether $5 or $5,000, all represent the sacred trust we have accepted to do grassroots work in the inner city, to change, serve and inspire. The success of the 2015 Ramadan Drive is a profound reminder of the positive impact we can have as a united community.
IMAN is deeply grateful to all who gave and continue to give. Contributions both large and small go a long way toward helping us deepen our work. Please keep IMAN and our supporters in your prayers, especially our anonymous matching donor.