Applying Islamic ethics in everyday life, US Muslim organizations in St. Louis, Missouri, are planning the first Walk+Run event to raise money for the needy and the homeless in the eastern American state where almost a quarter of population live in poverty.
“As American Muslims, our faith teaches us that feeding others is a right that they have on us,” Abbas Ali the co-founder and current President of Project Downtown St. Louis (PDSTL), said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net on Tuesday, March 25.
“Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] said that one of the best aspects of Islam is to feed others and greet those who you know and don’t know.”
PDSTL is a youth-based community service organization that has been feeding the homeless and hungry every Saturday morning in front of a local Islamic Center.
Offering help to their community, the organization planned the first Walk+Run event next April 20.
The event is hosted by PDSTL, the Muslim Student Association Unity Project (MSA Unity) and the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-St. Louis).
It was suggested to offer help to an increasing number of people living in poverty in St. Louis.
According to the St. Louis area food bank, the city of St. Louis has 80,675 people living in poverty which is 23 percent of the population.
There are 135,000 youth who are at risk of hunger and 85 percent of children enrolled in St. Louis Public Schools rely on free or reduced-cost meal programs.
Organizers hope that the money raised during the event would be used to provide summer meals for families whose children no longer get free or reduced school breakfasts and lunches.
“We hope to attract people of all faiths to participate in this walk+run against hunger,” said Faizan Syed, executive director of CAIR-St. Louis.
“Our goal is to raise funds to feed the hungry and homeless within the city and to raise awareness of the problem in our community.“
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to an estimated Muslim minority of six to eight million.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.
Another US survey has revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.
According to Islamic Shari`ah, a capable Muslim pays 2.5 percent mandatory payment and spend it to help the poor and the needy.
In August 2013, Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) was recognized amongst the top 10 highly rated charities in the United States.
The ranking was announced by Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities which has developed an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 6,000 of America’s best-known charities.