A team of students, parents, teachers and management team from the Cypress Sunday School visited the Houston Food Bank on Saturday, November 21. About five families participated. Despite the cold wind and the rain the Cypress team enthusiastically loaded all the food collected during the first ever food drive by the Sunday School students – nearly six boxes – and proceeded about 40 miles to the new location of the Houston Food Bank. We want to thank all the children and their parents who participated in the two week long food drive. It was the first one and a highly successful one.
The aim of the food drive was raise the conscious of our students to the social problems in the large community. The food drive was paired with morning assembly lectures on the importance to become engaged with the larger community, to serve the poor, with information on how prevalent poverty and hunger is in Texas and even in our backyard counties and schools. The students heard Hadith and verses from the Quran that strongly encourage helping the needy and the poor in the neighborhood, people of all faiths.
The team was impressed by the scale of operation in the modern building complex with hundreds of cars in the lot and many trucks loading and unloading food. Inside the building, they were very well received by the staff, and took some pictures as they unloaded the food. There were hundreds of volunteers including children as young as eight years helping out with packing food boxes for low income families and children in neighborhood schools – many of the children from families who have food insecurity collect these bags from their schools on Fridays for the weekend. Br. Sohail and Br. Quddus were taken inside to see how the volunteer school children under supervision were helping pack up the food bags – a festive and highly educational experience for these children. We have decided that inshallah we are going to build on this field trip experience and prepare to take a much larger group of students, perhaps 25 (must be at least 8 years of age) on a Saturday field trip in the spring semester. Stay tuned.
A second related project that was also a “first” for the Cypress Sunday School was raising funds to send to those affected by the massive storm in the Philippines. The disaster relief fundraising raised $70 in one day – funds which were texted to the UN Food Relief the same day. Maashallah, this is another success, and an educational strategy to be hands on in our learning, to be relevant to the needs of the society, and to be a responsible global citizen. Again it was emphasized by Br. Munir that it does not matter who is being helped – our values and teachings are that all those in need are able to look upon the Muslims as people who care, and are ready to assist others in their times of distress.