Why I volunteer
By Volunteer Ruqqaya SC
As a child, growing up in Texas and raised by a single parent, my mother, could sometimes be a great challenge without a father figure and my mom having to play both roles. Nevertheless, she was pretty tough as well as strict. But the one thing I will always remember was her kind heart. Although we were not financially or materialistically wealthy, she had a soft side and empathy for those less fortunate and always giving whatever she could to help out.
Animals (mainly dogs and cats) also captured her heart. She always fed the strays that sometimes wound up in our front or back porch. At one point when I was around 11-years old, we had inherited seven dogs and three cats! After being fed once these animals decided to make themselves at home and stayed. They were no longer homeless. It was fun picking out names for them.
Our home was always warm with kindness for people less fortunate than us. Helping others continued as I got older; it became a way of life. Not only would we help out with food, we donated clothing and shoes as well when we could.
Although I moved out of my mother’s home in my early 20s I continued her legacy; I felt compelled. I have lived in most of Texas’ big cities and enjoy meeting new people both humanitarian and the needy. There is an expression I saw in the humanitarians’ eyes that sparkle indicating they give from the heart. And then there is the big smile on the faces of the needy that just makes them glow with appreciation…priceless! Seeing this makes me feel high spiritually and is very rewarding as well.
Fast forward to the present, I became Muslim 20-years ago and will definitely draw upon my past experiences to continue helping, volunteering, etc. for the rest of my life. I feel our Creator guided me by giving me a wonderful mother who raised and prepared me to be a good Muslim and do what we were put on this earth to do. That is to help “all” of mankind regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.
In addition, this is why I am pleased to be a volunteer for IRUSA. They are so diversified and reach out to those less fortunate all over the world. The moment IRUSA finds out about someone in need or hear of a disaster in some country, they get right on it. Our life has no guaranties. We are here today but can be gone tomorrow. What better way to go and meet our Creator with a smile on our face knowing that we carried out what He wanted us to do. You too can have that big smile on your face by giving generously.