Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) parents, youth, and members of our virtual audience,

Quick question – how many people in the U.S. lack a proper home (or are classified as being homeless)?

Answer – in a nation as wealthy as the U.S., over 636,000 people were homeless in the year 2011 according to a study by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Stop and think about that figure for one moment. These individuals live amongst us in our community but lack the basic resources to take care of their needs. Oftentimes the homeless rely on assistance from food pantries and shelters just to find a meal for a given day or a place to sleep when the weather cools outdoors. Some aren’t as fortunate and instead find themselves sleeping under a bridge or on the surface of a cold concrete sidewalk as the weather drops below freezing. On Friday night, our young men met one such individual.

On Friday night, our youth were given the opportunity to prepare dinner for members of our community who are homeless. The meal our youth made would be the last meal many members of the homeless community would eat until Monday. As our young men worked hard in the kitchens of the ISGL to prepare a healthy, hearty meal of spaghetti, garlic bread, and a tossed salad – our mentors discussed an important principle of Islam of taking care of members of our community who are unable to take care of themselves (regardless if it be due to health, age, or financial constraints). After preparing dinner, our young men (dubbed ajr superheroes) were transported to Lafayette Transitional Housing to serve their hearty meal to members of the homeless community gathered there for the last meal of the day.

With warm smiles, perked-up ears, and a dose of kindness, our youth prepared plates of food, handed out drinks, and engaged our guests in conversation for 30 minutes, as dinner was served. The event proved an eye-opening experience for both youth and mentors alike. Below are a few pictures which capture our youth hard at work:

Danyal hands out after school snacks with a dose of…ummm…anger?

Raad performs an important step before preparing our lovely tossed salad…WASH THE FRUITS & VEGGIES!!!

Fruit Ninjas Hamza and Omar carefully slice to-ma-ters and cu-cum-brrs for our tasty salad.

 

Murtaza adds the final touches to our growing salad – CROUTONS!!!

Abdelrahman appears pleased with his work at the garlic bread station!

 

Fahad carefully places the scrumptious pieces of garlic bread into the oven as our youngins’ look on.

Meanwhile Danyal and Mujtaba get to work on the main course – pasta supremo!

 

Thumb up! Hamza gives our garlic bread and tossed salad his seal of approval.

Omar and Mujtaba prepare plates of food for our guests at the Lafayette Transitional Housing facility. Love the focus and concentration on their faces!

 

Abdelrahman and Muhammad hand out tonight’s healthy treat – bananas!

 

Dinner can’t be complete without a delicious treat…cake anyone?

Our team of ajr superheroes finishes serving our hearty meal to our guests.

Our young men showed a great deal of maturity and kindness in trying to lend a helping hand to members of our local community who are going through a difficult time in their life. We often forget the impact a smile or a small meal can have to anyone having a rough day. As our team of superheroes learned on Friday night, a little act of kindness can have a big impact. We ask Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, to accept from us our efforts and to forgive us for any mistakes we made. Ameen.

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