These packs don’t come in ribbons or colorful wrapping paper, but they may as well in the eyes of those who receive them.
Around 100 members of the Miami Valley Islamic Association and Champion City Vineyard Church met at the Masjid Al-Madina Mosque on Sunday, Dec. 10 to pack numerous items to be donated to the Springfield Soup Kitchen.
It was the second time the sides collaborated in 2017. An estimated $4,000 in goods, including 500 power packs, hygiene packs averaging $12-13 each, food packs $6-7 each, 600 pairs of socks, 50 blankets, 500 toothbrushes and toothpaste were gathered to be distributed to the needy.
“Our goal is to help the community as much as possible and we have people who have left their warm homes to be here to help out today,” said Samina Ahmed, treasurer of Masjid Al-Madina. “A lot of people don’t know what we do. If there’s a need in our community we will be out there regardless of faith or color.”
Mosque and church members worked side-by-side to create the packs and enjoyed fellowship alongside the work.
The youngest member was 11-month-old Callum Hanely, who was in a baby harness attached to dad Jason’s chest, taking an interest in all the activity. Jason said his son likes helping and hopes it will continue.
“This is how Springfield should be,” he said of the effort.
Sunday was a busy day for Fred Stegner, who operates the Soup Kitchen. He visited three other area churches to accept items and donations prior to coming to the mosque.
“It just fills my heart to see this,” Stegner said. “I constantly have people coming in looking for hygiene packets and snacks. I asked them to hold off just a few days. These are important since a lot of the people don’t go to shelters.”
As the cold weather has arrived, socks are especially a blessing for the homeless as they often don’t have spare pairs during the wet and snowy days, and shampoo deodorant, razors and feminine hygiene products are also in high demand. Clothing is also always needed.
TRENDING STORY: Northwestern to discuss complaints amid superintendent probe
Imam Yunus Lasania of Masjid Al-Madina has been asked why his congregation raises funds and donates items to these people, some of whom may be addicted to opioids or alcohol.
“We are helping them on humanitarian grounds. If you have mercy on those on Earth then Heaven will have mercy on you,” Lasania said.
Miami Valley Islamic Association and Champion City Vineyard Church plan to continue this collaboration biannually, Ahmed said.
Stegner said he is as rewarded as those he gives to.
“It’s worth a million dollars when I give these packages and the person’s eyes are tearing up. That’s why I do this.”