PVS-ICNA-901 Ummah Winter Drive
On a cold winter Memphis morning, PVS students joined 901 Ummah’s Feed the Ummah at First Presbyterian Church to distribute winter relief packages alongside 901 Ummah’s distribution of hot meals. This year, Memphis faced one of the harshest snow/ice/wind storms. Thousands lost electricity and even more lost access to clean water. The weekend before the storm, PVS students met in the school gym, where they spent over 4 hours unpacking 15 large boxes filled with hoodies, hats, socks, blankets, and hygiene supplies and preparing individualized bags to distribute to the homeless. Each relief bag was personalized with a specific sized hoodie and corresponding sized socks as well as a hat, blanket, and hygiene bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, washcloth, body wash, and face masks.
For two months before the distribution, PVS student Naisha Chowdhury corresponded with the South-East Regional Director of ICNA Relief. ICNA Relief is the largest Muslim social service group in America with projects all around the country. ICNA has only been in Memphis twice previously and this was their first winter distribution in Memphis. With the backing of a long-time PVS supporter NABIC (North American Bangladeshi Islamic Community), PVS purchased nearly 100 hoodies, hats, socks, and blankets and ICNA supplied hygiene bags.
At the church and the nearby park, Morris Park, nearly 60 bags were distributed. Because it was such a cold morning, many homeless people had already sought shelter in homeless shelters or other insulated areas. However, the many others who were left out in the cold needed the extra hoodies and blankets. With the spread of COVID-19, the need for hygiene supplies was especially high.
Alhamdulillah, with virtual schooling, we are able to stay safe and warm in our homes. At the same time, this is the best time for us to be able serve the less fortunate.