Islamic Relief Hosts First “Humanitarian Day for the Homeless” in Detroit

October 24, 2005

Source: Detroit Free Press


On October 24, 2005 the Detroit Free Press reported, "The organizers who held Humanitarian Day in Los Angeles the last three years recruited [Zarinah] El-Amin to run Detroit's on the same day events in Las Vegas, Chicago, Newark, N.J., Washington and, of course, Los Angeles were going on. This day, dedicated to helping homeless people, falls in the middle of Ramadan, the holy month when devout Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown. Islam counts zakat, or charity, among its five pillars, but during Ramadan, also known as shahr al-rahma, the month of mercy, people give even more than usual, El-Amin explained... [Donations for this event] arrived steadily from many sources -- from the Church of Latter-day Saints to area restaurants. Contributions also came in the form of time: An estimated 300 people from local mosques and Muslim university student groups volunteered, according to [El-Amin]... Dozens of volunteers handed out hygiene kits, containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and washcloths; bags of socks, gloves and scarves; warm helpings of food; bottled water, and toys and balloons for the kids. Elsewhere in the building, medical staffers gave free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings and, outside, tables piled high with donated clothes beckoned those ill-prepared for winter."