On October 7th, Minneapolis Muslims held their second annual Day of Dignity event for north Minneapolis residents and homeless persons. During this event, organizers and volunteers gave out free necessities such as clothing, food, and hygiene kits to the public. They also provided health care and legal rights services to people in need. This event is mainly sponsored by Islamic Relief USA, which is a nonprofit humanitarian organization with a mission to “alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner.”
Starting at 10 a.m., organizers and volunteers prepared to set things up. Kamillah El-Amin, who is the coordinator for this event, said that for this year, 145 volunteers registered and came to help.
Around noon, people waiting in line began to walk in, register and visit each tent that provided different services. Besides hot food, used clothing and shoes, people could also get a bag of fresh groceries, hygiene kits, ear and eye health services, flu shots, checking blood pressure and glucose screening, talking to doctors and nurses from Fairview clinic about health care plans, and consulting CAIR MN volunteer attorneys about legal rights. All these services were free and provided from other social services organizations.
Jean Fideler, who was a first-year volunteer, talked about her experiences at this event, “I work and live in a south suburb and I heard about this event through my [Christian] church. I like this work, it’s great. I came here for free music and I get to help people.” Outside of the Masjid An-Nur mosque, Atmosphere, Stalley and other rappers provided a free live show for the public.
Volunteer Jean Fideler helped to send out juices.
Nuur Yusuf and Firten Kulum, who are a married couple from Somalia, came to this event because of flyers that were sent to their home on Lyndale Avenue. They said they liked this event because they needed free clothing and groceries. And they would like to come back for next year.
Charme Baugh, who comes here every year to help do blood pressure for people because her dad is a Muslim, said she, “just wants to get back to the community and be very helpful.” Baugh is in nursing school and she thought it’s really helpful for her to meet doctors and nurses and to talk to patients who don’t have health insurance. Baugh said the part of the event she liked best was “being in the community and seeing different people.”