You’re walking down the street carrying groceries for the house. You see kids playing soccer, fathers at the coffeehouse and mothers telling their kids to eat some lunch. Just another normal day in the city. You have now reached your house and can see your mom looking out the window to see if you have arrived yet because everyone is waiting to eat lunch. As soon as you put your key in the lock and turn it, the house is bombed and all you hear are cries and screams. You can’t think straight because you have no idea what just happened. Little do you know that your life has just completely changed. Having to live in fear of whether or not you and your family will make it until tomorrow. This is the current situation of our brothers and sisters in Syria. Alhamdulillah, we get anything we want, toys, clothes, food, a roof over our head, but yet we take these things for granted. Things are pretty easy for us if you think about it, and that’s why we need to try and make a difference, for our family and friends in Syria, and all around the world.
About a month ago, we started a Syrian drive in Utopia for the first time. It was pretty successful, and we had people bringing in all sorts of resourceful materials, from clothes and food to medical supplies, bedding and toys. After collecting every Saturday for a month, finally came the day that we would bring all of these donations to the warehouse where they are sorted, organized and packed into containers. When we were told on October 30th about going to New Hampshire to help out Nuday Syria on November 4th, all I could think about was how amazing of an experience it was going to be. The only thing on my mind was the moment that the final bell would ring on Friday so that we could all meet up at the Masjid and go to the warehouse.
Alhamdulilah, the bell finally rang and I was on my way to the Masjid. As soon as I got there, the bus that we were taking was already there and our fellow Utopians were already loading the donations we brought with us. I impatiently helped load the bus, excited for the adventure ahead. After we got all the donations onto the bus, we finally got going! There was a long two hour ride ahead of us, which was spent in laughter, chatting, and fun. Before we knew it, we had arrived. We worked hard, carrying bags and boxes into the warehouse where they would be sorted. Inside, we met Sr. Nadia Alawa, who showed us how to sort all the clothes and toys. Immediately, we got to work carrying heavy bags and boxes, sorting clothes, unloading trucks and loading the container. While sorting through the clothes, I began to look at everything in a more personal way. I later realized that these are not just clothes that we buy, wear, and get rid of when they don’t fit us or when we don’t like them anymore. They are clothing that would put the biggest smile on someone in Syria right now. Like pajamas, we wear them to be comfy at night, but they could mean a world of warmth and comfort to them. Even sleeping bags, we use them at our Qiyams for fun but to someone out there they could make a difference in life and death for them and help them get through a cold winter night. After hours of loading the container, it felt like we were only there for half an hour. All around there were smiles and laughs, not only because we were with our friends, but because deep down we all knew that we were doing this for a good cause. We have learned that helping anyone, from those in need to the underprivileged, is not just a way of helping others but it’s a way of making ourselves better people and cleansing our souls. “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”