Students helping students: Dawoodi Bohra students in Long Island help local communities

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Students from the Dawoodi Bohra community deliver school supplies to Island Harvest on Long Island. (Photo courtesy organizers)

New York, NY – High school students from the Dawoodi Bohra community in New York, raised more than $3,000 to donate school supplies to support students and their families facing economic hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 660 pounds was donated to Island Harvest, which will be used to support more than 500 students across Long Island, a press release from organizers said.

Island Harvest is a non-profit organization that works to end hunger and support families across Long Island. It plans to work with agencies that support low-income families and families benefiting from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to ensure that the supplies reach students who would benefit the most from these donations.

“After learning about the current unemployment rate on Long Island, we realized that many families would not have the resources to buy new school supplies. We decided to do our part and help students get the supplies they need to go back to school,” Lulua Hamdani and Zahra Ezzi, two high school students at Long Island schools, are quoted saying in the press release. They are the co-presidents of the initiative.

Besides raising funds from the Dawoodi Bohra community, the students also collected donations of approximately 40 pounds of lightly used school supplies from community members.

In addition, they advocated for and received corporate donations from Staples and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

With the funds, students purchased backpacks, binders, notebooks, pencils, and other essential school supplies, which they delivered to Island Harvest.

From left to right: Daniyal Khambati, Ummehani Bootwala, Lulua Hamdani, Zahra Ezzi, Hussaina Deesawala, Mohammad Balasinorwala, and Daniyal Diwan are high school students from the Dawoodi Bohra community who organized a school supplies drive to help students across Long Island who are facing financial hardship because of the pandemic. Photo Courtesy: Organizers

“As Dawoodi Bohras, we believe it is our duty to help less fortunate members of our society, as guided by the teachings of our religious leader, His Holiness, Dr. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (T.U.S.). We are proud of our young community members who volunteered their time to organize this drive to benefit others,” says Taha Adib, a spokesperson for the Dawoodi Bohra community of New York, who guided and helped the students in their efforts.

The Dawoodi Bohras (www.usa.thedawoodibohras.com) of New York, mainly hailing from the Indian subcontinent, are Muslims who have called New York and other cities in the United States their home for a number of years, the organization says.

“Bohras are united by a set of centuries-old principles: love for one’s country, eradicating poverty and hunger, women’s empowerment, enhancing the natural environment, engagement with other faiths, and physical health and wellbeing.  Many of the values at the core of the Bohra faith align very closely with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” the organization says.

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