Every month, Muslim students gather at the Student Union building at the University of Texas in Dallas to put together food packs for the city’s homeless. They do it as part of an initiative started by MSA National called Project Downtown with participating groups in various cities across the United States. It aims to provide food and necessities to the homeless and needy.
In Dallas, students begin on a Saturday morning and fill the food bags with sandwiches that they all make together along with granola bars and fruit. The volunteers then take the food to downtown Dallas, where they partner up with Masjid al-Islam to make routine stops in the downtown area, handing out the food and water to the homeless and those in need.
“It’s honestly a very humbling experience for all of us” says Syed, one of the volunteers. “Seeing the things that they are going through on a daily basis makes me grateful for the things that I have. At the same time, I am glad to be a part in bringing some joy to their day.”
Mariya Khalid, one of the leaders of the initiative at the university, explains what made her participate in this initiative:
“When we do service projects we don’t always get to see where our work is going or what we are working towards, but Project Downtown is special because we get to make sandwiches and hand them personally to the people that need our help.”
In December, the students plan to distribute blankets and warm clothing along with food to help the homeless through the winter.
It is encouraging to see Muslim youth take a leading role in helping make their community a better place for everyone.