(Long Island, NY) This August and September, over 5,000 needy children across New York City will receive free school bags filled with supplies including notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, rulers, crayons and more.
ICNA Relief, a division of the New York based national organization Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), plans to give out free school bags and school supplies to different communities all across NY.
This initiative is part of ICNA’s national Back 2 School Giveaway Project, which is hosting over 30 similar events across the U.S. These efforts hope to help over 25,000 children nationwide.
“Many families in New York are under financial pressure; some have lost jobs and find it difficult to buy school supplies for their children,” said Shakaib Jamal, Project Director for ICNA NY. “Education is a very important element in Islam. Prophet Muhammad said ‘the best gift from a father to his child is education and upbringing.’ We hope this initiative will cater to these needs of low-income families, and help build a better future for our children.”
According to Weathering the Storm:
How the Economic Recession Continues to Impact School Districts
More than three quarters (81.4%) of districts described their district as inadequately funded, Nearly three-quarters (71.2%) of school districts reported a cut in state/local revenues between 2010-11 and 2011-12. More than half (57%) anticipate a decrease in state/local revenues between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school year, roughly equal to the amount (54.9%) who anticipate decreases between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.
By: Report of Findings
Noelle M. Ellerson, American Association of School Administrators
Daniel A. Domenech, AASA Executive Director
©American Association of School Administrators
Unfortunately, to compensate for budget cuts schools are asking parents to take the impact and fill the shortfall. Huntington National Bank’s annual Backpack Index shows school supply prices jumped an average of 7.3% this year, far outpacing inflation at 1.8%.
For families who struggle financially because of job loss or low paying jobs in our community, buying school supplies has become a financial crisis.
Islam teaches us, “A person is not a Muslim who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.” Through the Back 2 School Giveaway, ICNA hopes to both help struggling families provide for their children and to be good neighbors as the Islamic faith obligates on Muslims.
ICNA NY will be hosting giveaways this August and September in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester. ICNA was able to bring school bags, school supplies and smiles to over 3,500 children in New York City last year.
To view all of our giveaway locations please visit www.back2schoolgiveaway.com.
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through social services, outreach and education.
For more information visit www.icna.org.