As the Islamic holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, a nonprofit organization and a Northern Virginia community came together to pack up more than a hundred thousand meals for people in need in the region.
"I feel hungry and thirsty as I’m sure everyone does, but the energy of helping out and helping people, it just overcomes it,” volunteer Aseer Ahmad said.
Community members and people affiliated with the organization Islamic Relief USA and Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, joined forces Saturday evening, and for many, the effort was more than a volunteer opportunity, but also a family event.
Ismat Khan, with her whole family in tow, wanted to share an act of kindness on the last night of Ramadan.
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"It just feels good to know that this is going to go to people in need,” Khan said.
The Islamic Relief USA yearly Ramadan event made its comeback bigger and better than before, after taking a two-year break due to the pandemic.
"What we are doing here today is we’re going to try to package as many meals as we can to provide those to people in need, primarily in the D.C. metro area but even beyond,” Assistant Director of Volunteers Said Durrah said.
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More than 400 volunteers of all ages, culture, and religious backgrounds arrived in the afternoon to Episcopal High School grounds ready to pack meals for some of their most vulnerable neighbors.
"As soon as he told me about the opportunity I said, ‘Oh we are totally going,’" volunteer Shekera Alvarado said.
"That's what we love to do with these guys. We like to bring them and show them these types of things so they understand what the world really is about," Michael Alvarado said.
And together, they all met their goal of packing 125,000 meals, to share with community organizations and food banks for families in need.
"Unity is the first word that comes to my head. Islam is all about unity, and this just shows here in this small community, we all come together for the same cause of helping our brothers and sisters in need," Ahmad said.