On January 20, UPLIFT teamed up with Islamic Relief to give away about 5,000 pounds of halal meat to about 100 needy families in Anaheim. Students from the New Horizon School, a private Islamic school in Irvine, also handed out donated toys to eager children, who had assembled with their families outside an apartment building.
The goal of the food handout was also to provide these families, most of them of Somali background, an opportunity to network and build support in the community. Organizers hope that these newly made connections will lead them to employment. The families, some of them consisting of eight or nine children, were touched by the generosity shown. “I’m thankful for the gifts they give us,” said one needy mother.
As part of its annual, national Udhiyah Food Distribution Project, Islamic Relief will have distributed 30,000 pounds of meat to needy families in California and Michigan. Locally, Islamic Relief also distributed meat to the Soup Kitchen of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker, which feeds the homeless and needy on Skid row in downtown Los Angeles.
The strategy of UPLIFT, which was formed in May 2006, is to empower the needy including orphans, the homeless, widows, the physically abused, and seniors, and help them to stand on their feet. “It’s overlooked that there are so many Muslims here that are needy,” said Fuad Dadabhoy, Secretary of UPLIFT.