By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — What started as a fundraiser to feed Dearborn families during Ramadan has grown into helping refugee families adjust to their new life in the city.
Dearborn resident Haidar Alammoury wanted a way to give back to the community, but did not know where to start.
He then had the idea to post about the fundraiser on social media, asking people to contact him with families who are in need.
“I started this fundraiser as an opportunity for me to give back during the holy month of Ramadan,” Alammoury said. “I tried to give back to the less fortunate the best way I can.”
After reaching out to the Islamic Center of America, 19500 Ford Road, Alammoury received a list of 100 people who also needed assistance.
For the next part of the fundraiser, Alammoury was able to partner with local businesses to provide the food for families. Byblos Banquet Hall, Good Burger and Sweet Cravings Yogurt supplied the food and Elassal and Associates law office assisted with donations.
“The best part of this fundraiser for me was seeing businesses and local people come together to put an end to hunger in our city,” Alammoury said.
On June 24 and July 5, Alammoury and his team of five drivers delivered the prepared meals to the houses of the families on his list.
“Some Reactions of families we got was unexplainable,” he said. “The looks on their faces when we pulled up to their home with a warm meal for them to break their fast on was the reason why I choose to do a second drive.”
Good Burger employees made over 200 meals at the restaurant on July 4 to distribute to the local families.
“From day one this city has made Good Burger what it is today and we’ll always be grateful for that,” Good Burger owner Zo Olabi said. “As for this donation, it’s the least we can do as Ramadan comes to an end. However we can’t take all the credit for it. Instead, this donation was made possible by our dedicated staff and loyal customers.”
With Ramadan complete, Alammoury has started the journey of helping refugees one family at a time.
He is planning to provide groceries, furniture, clothes along with showing them the city and area.
Alammoury is able to do this with the help of his friend Zahraa Alkubba who plans to assist families with school enrollment, getting jobs and food assistance programs.
Together, Alammoury and Alkubba are helping a Syrian refugee family of 11 get acquainted with life in Michigan.
“Day one of starting the journey of helping this Syrian refugee family proved to be successful,” he said. “We had the honor of meeting these sweet souls that opened their home to us.”
Anyone who is interested in donating can email Alammoury at email@example.com.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)