#Newsletter,  #Stories

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

That’s a question our neighbors in need are asking every day. Mr. Rogers had it right: showing compassion and mercy starts at home. Read on for stories of those you’ve helped right here in the US of A.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor…

…Would you be my, could you be my—
Won’t you be my neighbor?

-Mr. Rogers

So many of us can appreciate the simple, compassionate message in the introductory jingle of the show Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

It’s a message that resonates with the basic humanity within each of us: won’t you be my neighbor? It’s the same thing as saying: will you be my friend? Can I help you? Can you help me?

Neighbors in Need

Millions of people in need across America are asking those of us who are more well off that question.

Did you know that in the United States, 1 in 5 kids are hungry? And that refugees, disaster survivors, and families need help every day?

Islamic Relief USA has hundreds of programs and initiatives each year that help neighbors in need here the United States. Below, meet three of the thousands of people that donors like you have helped.

Meet Joanne

Joanne, age 68, lives with her family of four on a Native American reservation in Utah, far from the city with no nearby grocery store. Their household income is very little.

In 2016, Joanne and her granddaughter received a food package from Islamic Relief USA during one of our Ramadan food box distributions. “Every little thing will help a lot,” she said.

Meet Basher

Before coming to the United States with his mother, Basher was tortured in Syria, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

Basher was the first person served in IRUSA’s refugee resettlement program in North Carolina, an initiative that focuses on refugees who have the most difficulty settling because of medical conditions or psychological trauma and low English proficiency. Refugees receive rent assistance and case management—guiding them through the services available and filling in gaps.

Basher successfully completed English lessons, enrolled in college, and has a 4.0 grade point average. He and his mother have also moved to a new home with the help of IRUSA. Moreover, physical therapy has helped him take his first steps up stairs.

Meet Autumn

Autumn’s two children were 9-years-old and 18-months-old when the severity of the Flint water crisis began to be known in 2016. “It’s scary,” she told Islamic Relief USA, “You don’t know how it’s going to affect your kids. You don’t know if there’s going to be future consequences.”

Autumn and her family received fresh drinking water from Islamic Relief USA. “Anything helps,” she said, “We go through so much water… everything you do, you take for granted when you have it. It’s a relief to us to be able to have the donations. Being in the dark so long about it and then just being hit with it—we had no time for preparation so it’s wonderful to have the extra help. It’s amazing.”

“I think that everybody’s really scared of what’s going on here,” she continued, “and it is scary. But in Flint, we just cope and move on and we just find ways to get around it. Flint is a strong community. No matter how impoverished the area is, it’s a strong community, and everybody pulls together.”

You can put Mr. Rogers’ words into action now and help neighbors in need like Joanne, Basher, and Autumn by donating to our United States humanitarian fund.

Kelly is part of the Communications & External Relations team at Islamic Relief USA.

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