COVID-19 Can’t Stop This Work
May 1, 2020–Today rounded out the fifth week that I have helped to lead the distribution of over 3,500 care packages to families and individuals from across our communities in Englewood, Chicago Lawn and beyond struggling with anxiety, isolation and fear in this COVID-19 moment.
In the last weeks I have watched as families have shown up to IMAN, lining up in the cold and rain almost two hours before we began distribution. I walked up to them and assured them as we took down their names that everyone would get a bag of food and care supplies, that they didn’t need to wait in line.
Assuring people struggling in their greatest times of need that we will do everything we can to have their backs is what I’ve personally seen and helped IMAN do for over 20 years. During the 90s, I helped run IMAN’s food pantry for seven years and I could never forget what that meant to the community.
In the years that I have been embedded in the neighborhood and as someone who’s been a part of the IMAN family since the very beginning, I have watched how this organization has always put the needs of the community first.
People in the neighborhood needed health care, IMAN provided it for free. Brothers coming home from prison needed a place to go and to get on their feet, IMAN provided housing and job training. And over the years this work has grown into something I never imagined—from supporting returning citizens with a place to call home, jobs and healthcare, to organizing for real policy change that has impacted thousands of lives. From free healthcare in a tiny borrowed office, to a Federally Qualified Health Center that brings the arts, organizing and direct support together to meet folks where they are and work towards a greater future.
I couldn’t be more honored playing my small part in this blessed month of Ramadan and couldn’t be more inspired and grateful by your ongoing generosity. I pray that your tax-deductible and zakat-eligible contributions will help us to meet and exceed this year’s Ramadan Drive Goal. Given the circumstances we are in, there was never a year that your support will speak as loudly as it can assuring the families and everyone else we touch that this COVID -19 crisis can’t stop and won’t stop us from having their backs!