Islamic Relief USA held its annual Day of Dignity campaign in major cities throughout the country, including one in the Bronx on Oct. 16, with the Muslim Women’s Institute of Research and Development (MWIRD).
The Day of Dignity campaign consists of a series of events held around the nation to help get people who are homeless or from low-income households, among other sociological conditions, access to such essential items as meals, winter coats, hygiene kits, health tests and school supplies.
“Islamic Relief has held the Day of Dignity event for several years,” said Sharif Aly, chief executive officer of Islamic Relief USA. “The events enable people who are in some of the difficult and stressful circumstances to get access to necessary items and services. Poverty and homelessness, unfortunately, remain major problems. Day of Dignity events provide essential services and access. In addition to receiving food, clothing and health care, they also learn about the different agencies and other entities which they can connect with and continue receiving the guidance and resources necessary to help them get on a path of self-sufficiency.
“Day of Dignity Bronx is a day of service hosted by MWIRD, sponsored in part by Islam Relief USA. An annual event in early October since 2009, Day of Dignity Bronx serves an average of 1,000 people. We partner with community businesses to serve Highbridge and Bronx residents primarily and greater New York City.”
The events put a spotlight on the effects of poverty, which remains a persistent problem in the United States. While recent government stimulus programs helped reduce poverty overall, the recent conclusion of those programs, such as enhanced unemployment benefits and the lifting of a moratorium on evictions could result in more or new problems. And, millions of people remain in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Day of Dignity helps provide, at least for a day, relief from the regular hardships that are faced by an impoverished population, regardless of race, creed or nationality.