By: Dawlat Mohamed
This was the first time I had ever volunteered for Sanaad. I asked my supervisor what exactly I would be doing when we arrived. She told me that we would be packing things in boxes and we would be giving it to those who couldn’t afford to buy those groceries. When we pulled up in front of the building, we were led to a room filled with basic foodstuffs such as soup cans, crackers, cookies, rice, juice powder, lettuce, and other general produce. We were expected to sort these items and pack them into boxes to give to the less fortunate around the area. The door was open the entire time, there was absolutely no heat, and there was slush all over the floor. It was extremely cold, and I was not dressed for that sort of condition. I had to work fast, especially since the people receiving this food would start lining up at ten in the morning. We finally got all the boxes organized, and it was time to give out the food. Mariam Ahmad, another one of my classmates who volunteered with me that day, called out the numbers assigned to those in line. Before I saw those people waiting in line outside, I was concerned about how cold I was and the quiz I had to take when I got back to school. That moment I realized that my “troubles” were nothing compared to what those people have to go through every day, and that I’m blessed enough to only have to worry about a quiz, and not whether or not I was going to eat dinner that night. They had to walk through the freezing cold to get to the food pantry, I was only going to be cold for a few more minutes, and so I felt like what I was doing was important. These people were going to go home with food that they normally would not have been able to afford if it wasn’t for organizations like Sanaad. I felt like I was making these people happy, providing them with basic necessities that they would benefit from greatly. What surprised me the most what that there were people of all ages. There were older people, and then there were married couples with their children, and all the ages in between. After we had finished our job, and all the people left, we went into the main office. Fatima, the founder of the Sanaad organization, explained to me the whole goal of this program. She told me that they’re long-term goal is to eliminate all hate crimes and discrimination between all ethnicities, and to help those less fortunate in the community by working together as a team, and providing them with the tools they need to move forward in their lives. Not only does the organization provide their community with food and other basic needs, but it also helps pay bills, and provides jobs for those who need it. I felt honored to be volunteering with this sort of program, and I felt good helping these people, because I made a difference in their lives that day, just like this organization does every day. But what I really took out of this is that it’s important to thank God everyday for what you have, no matter what it is, because there is always someone else that is worse off than you.