By Moses Kuwema
Since its founding in 1968, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Relief has been providing social services across the U.S. to the underprivileged and those affected by natural disasters.
ICNA does fulfill its mandate through contributions from donors and volunteers.
"At ICNA Relief we believe in the importance of good governance, ethical management practices and accountability to our donors. We are an Accredited Charity meeting all the standards by BBB and Gold-Level GuideStar Nonprofit, demonstrating this organization’s commitment to transparency.
ICNA Relief has won several awards for their outstanding service. It has been rated four out of four stars by the esteemed Charity Navigator. The charity also meets the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability, as well as GuideStar’s highest standards of transparency. We are also a participating charity in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and a board member of NVOAD (National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster)," read the mission statement on ICNA's websites.
Parkchester Times recently caught up with Shabbir Gul founder of Bronx Community Council who does carry out works on behalf of ICNA in the Bronx and Harlem.
Gul said ICNA was a national wide initiative that serves all of humanity regardless of color.
"We do this with the help of the many community organizations. We serve 65 locations only in The Bronx and Harlem mostly the churches and mosques. We also serve many precincts besides the church. The reason why we focus on the worship centers is that we need the community center and worship to connect. We are doing many locations and so many stuff," said Gul.
Gul said the COVID-19 crisis has brought a lot of sufferings among many people in places like the Bronx as many do not have food.
"People don't have food on the table. So we are serving these people and the last nine months, we have served almost 1.7 million families in The Bronx and Harlem. A lot has been done nationwide. We are the first Moslem disaster management responder to any disasters. We have so many challenges. First of all, people are starving and we have many locations but still people need more locations because people lost their jobs, they don't have health care programs, so we are trying in our limited capacity to manage and serve the community. Last nine months we have had an unbelievable food crisis which we tried to contain. We always try to accomodate people that come forward. We offer different kinds of food, we have fruits, vegetables, potatoes, rice, etc," said Gul.
Gul said those in need of food could head to the food centers that include Mosques and Churches around the Bronx and Harlem to get their food.
"Before they were picking food twice a week now it's once a week. In some Mosques, they pick up Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Anybody who needs food should reach out to us. We always have food, different kinds of groceries. Anyone who needs food should be recommended to us," concluded Gul.