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March 2013, Muslim-American Activism
Muslim Charity Provides Disaster Relief to Hurricane Sandy Victims
Volunteers cut up fallen trees after Hurricane Sandy. (Photo Courtesy ICNA Relief)
The Islamic Circle of North America's charitable arm, ICNA Relief USA, has provided disaster response services in 21 disasters in 15 states over the last decade, including most recently during Hurricane Sandy. Charity is a central component of the Muslim faith, so when Sandy struck, 500 volunteers rushed to provide food, shelter and medical care for dozens of communities throughout New York and New Jersey.
ICNA Relief established food and basic supply distribution centers throughout the stricken states, including Somerset/Piscataway and Atlantic City in New Jersey and, in New York, Long Beach, Valley Stream and Far Rockaway on Long Island, Staten Island, and Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighborhood. ICNA Relief volunteers gutted damaged homes, cut up fallen trees and handed out everything from diapers and heaters to hot meals and canned goods. They also set up free medical clinics in New York and New Jersey where survivors were able to receive free health check-ups and free over-the-counter medications.
Leaders from FEMA, officials from the White House's faith-based initiative, and elected officials including Mayor Langford of Atlantic City and Mayor Hameeduddin of Teaneck, NJ have applauded ICNA Relief's response to disasters and extraordinary work on the ground during times of crisis, including during Superstorm Sandy.
In addition to disaster services, ICNA Relief's 40 national chapters provide a number of charity services which are offered across the country to people of all faiths. These programs include women's shelters in seven states, food pantries in 10 states, hunger prevention programs, free family counseling services, disaster recovery and case management, and a national school supply drive that last year provided more than 20,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to needy children.