Volunteers, athletes and spectators spent their time spreading love through warmth by knotting together blankets for Syrian refugees.
Volunteers, athletes and spectators spent their time spreading love through warmth by knotting together blankets for Syrian refugees. The blankets produced by the Knots of Love initiative will be delivered to the Memnosyne Institute who will facilitate the donation.
“This project has been fun and relaxing so far, and also allows me to help others in the surrounding area,” says Ashraf Mitha, a spectator from Dallas.
In addition to the blankets, volunteers created over 900 hygiene care packages with donated items including toothpaste, mouthwash, lotion, chapstick, deodorant, and children's books to aid those less fortunate during the holidays.
“It's nice to see that even one of these items will mean a lot to the people receiving them, even though we take these items for granted,’ says Maheen Chranya, a volunteer from Atlanta.
I-CERV has been strongly involved in local civic engagement prior to the US Ismaili Games as well. At the Metrocrest Services Food Pantry, Zarin Hameed, along with many other volunteers, recently assisted families with shopping, picking fresh produce from the garden and loading groceries. “While I am still mobile, I need to give back as much as possible,” says Hameed.
“I am very impressed by how quickly the Ismaili volunteers picked up the tasks,” says Tom Cook, a supervisor of the Pantry. “It touches my heart. Deeply."
Matthew Marchant, mayor of Carrollton, Texas, recommended volunteering with Metrocrest Services to local I-CERV members. The mayor mentioned the Ismaili community’s service to the food pantry in his proclamation shown by video at the Games’ Opening Ceremonies.
Before Thanksgiving, Ismaili volunteers -- along with members of the North Texas Food Bank -- rallied to donate forty turkeys to ensure a hearty holiday meal for local, underprivileged children and adults. Volunteers sported colourful turkey hats to celebrate the festivity of the holiday. Some individuals even stopped their cars on the road and donated funds, supporting the turkey drive's slogan: “One dollar can save three children.”
The value of service has always been ingrained among Ismaili Muslim volunteers who work tirelessly and diligently not only with I-CERV events, but also on Jamati events such as the US Ismaili Games.
“For these projects, no matter where you live, everyone comes together and works hard to serve the community, one step at a time,” says Chranya, smiling.
— Raahina Malik