Relief Work for Puerto Rico

For: Puerto Ricans Affected by Hurricane Maria
Passaic, NJ
Organizer: Imams Lebron, Hernandez, and Rios
$93,672
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 291 donors
93% Complete

The Story

As you all know, Hurricane Maria has torn through Puerto Rico leaving over a million people without electricity, many homes seriously damaged, land and crops destroyed for those who depend on this, a water crisis which will emerge relatively quick due to lack of power and resources, and much more that we yet know the reality of until the storm clears and the dust settles. 

Imam Wesley AbdurRazzaq Abu Sumayyah Lebron has been to the slums of Brazil and the mountains of Mexico in order to serve those who are most deserving, the poor and destitute.  He was also blessed to go to the mountains and ocean front of Ecuador after the earth quake that killed thousands and destroyed cities.

Imam Daniel Abdullah Hernandez has been a disaster relief worker helping to restore Houston Texas after the devastation that hurricane Harvey caused.  He personally helped lead a campaign that provided bleach for decontamination of wells affected by the hurricane.  Besides his duties as Imam, he's also a hospital chaplain and has for the last 5 years worked in the capacity as prison chaplain.

Imam Yusuf Rios has worked in social service and mental health in Cleveland, Ohio.  He has worked closely with Puerto Ricans who have come to the US from the island and he understands the importance of working on the ground with people, especially after devastation has affected their lives. 

These Imams have done all this because of their love to serve humanity.  Now, due to the devastation of the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico, which has been trampled by the worst hurricane in over 80 years, we found it of supreme importance to come together once again on a project that is very dear and near to all of our hearts.  Our hearts are broken, our souls shaken, and our minds are in a whirlwind thinking about what our people are experiencing.  

It is with the same passion, drive, and love to serve humanity, that we now reach out to all of you to donate in order to help us rescue and restore our people and land.  Many of you personally know us and we hope that you will support this effort that we are putting forward in hopes to take these funds and care for those most affected in Puerto Rico. As always, it is an Amana (trust) that one takes when people give for a certain cause, and because of that, we will have complete transparency regarding where these funds go and how they are spent.  We will bring live footage of purchases, handouts, etc.  Not a single penny will go unaccounted for.

Get to know a little more about these leaders:
Imam Wesley AbdurRazzaq Abu Sumayyah Lebron
He is a Puerto Rican who accepted Islam in 1998. He graduated from Mishkah University with a Bachelor's degree in Islamic studies. He is currently the NJ coordinator, national speaker, Instructor, and an Imam for IslamInSpanish. He helped to establish the only masjid that currently exists in North America for Latinos, the IslamInSpanish Centro Islamico. 

He led as Vice President of "Islamic DOOR" and the President of "The Latino Muslims of Chicago" when he resided in IL between the years 2008 - 2012 and he has been an active leader in the Muslim community since his acceptance of Islam. 

Imam Daniel Abdullah Hernandez
He is a Puerto Rican convert who accepted Islam in 1999. Imam Hernandez grew up in the US and in Moca PR in a village called Voladoras. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with his BA in Islamic studies and he is currently enrolled in their masters program. The  following are some of his accomplishments:
  1. 5 year prison chaplain
  2. Hospital chaplain
  3. Cub scouts BSA chaplain
  4. Founder of two weekend schools
  5. Helped with the decontamination of wells affected by hurricane Harvey
He is currently the Imam of the Pearland Islamic Center which is under the Islamic Society of Greater Houston.  He's also a national spokesperson for IslamInSpanish and he's the author of "40 sayings of Prophet Muhammad related to Hajj and Umrah".

Imam Yusuf Rios
Yusuf Rios was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a devout Christian family. In his late teens he yearned strongly to be a Catholic Monk. Later he joined the Capuchin Franciscans Program at Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe Ohio where he studied for two and half years discerning a vocation as a Priest while in his early twenties. During his studies at Borromeo Seminary he studied Catholic and Western Philosophy and theology. During his studies he discovered the path to Islam and began to study Islam.
He joined the Muslim community in Cleveland and began to study Islam more seriously and then joined Islamic American University in Metro Detroit. After an intense study program he moved to Cairo Egypt for five years to study in Cairo. He has great love and attachment to Egypt and especially al-Azhar Mosque where he studied for the major portion of his residence in Egypt.
Yusuf has a BA in Western Philosophy and Sociology from John Carroll University and is working on a Masters in Education from Notre Dame College and in Islamic Education from al-Huda University. He serves as an instructor in Islamic Sciences with Islamic American University and al-Huda University and is the director of Shaukani Institute. He also assists and serves in local mosques in Cleveland, Ohio. His six research interests in Islamic sciences are in the areas of Usul al-Fiqh, Maqasid ash Shar’ia, Hadith Sciences, Fiqh and the Reasons for Scholarly Differences.  Shaykh Yusuf Rios has also taught at Al-Huda University in Texas and Islamic American University in Michigan. 

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 26, 2017

Posted on October 26, 2017

Masha Allah, we have reached $86,000 of the $100,000 dollar goal.  We have already went in to Puerto Rico for the first part of our work and donated over 500 food packages.  The packages that were created easily feed between 3500-4000 people.  We had 3 methods that were carried out:
  1. Donated to churches or organizations that cook daily (breakfast, lunch, or dinner)
  2. Door to Door deliveries as we drove through the most affected areas
  3. Personally reaching out to families in the areas we were in who may not have contact with their family members, especially the elderly. 
We were also able to deliver goods that were not being given by many organizations such as: Rice, Beans, Oats, Pasta, Tuna, Boxed Milk, Water, and Clorox. Not only were they provided with family packages, but those packages contained food that was healthy and nutritional. 

Posted on September 30, 2017

Posted on September 30, 2017

God is Great!  We have collected $34,890 thus far for Relief for Puerto Rico! May God reward all of you.  This will soon be of benefit to the people there. We are still waiting for logistics to be opened and we are making connections on the island so that when we land relief can be as smooth as possible, insha Allah (god willing).

Posted on September 28, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on September 28, 2017

We are doing great in collecting funds!  You are all absolutely awesome.  As stated before we have many small goals within the first phase and because of that we will raise the bar again thereby seeking more support and building a better base for the people of Puerto Rico.  We have raised the bar another $5k.  Lets do it! 

Update regarding our travel date:
We are doing our best to enter the country as soon as we know that we can be on the ground purchasing and bringing items in.  As of now, planes are still not allowing certain items except through cargo and then they may not be accessible on the other end in Puerto Rico just yet.  Warehouses, supermarkets, etc., are still not open to sale items in bulk which is necessary for us to do the work!  

We have a few more fundraising opportunities here in the states, so instead of going to the island and being stuck not being able to assist just yet, we will keep mobilizing and collecting goods and funds until those doors open for us to maneuver with some ease.  We are being patient even though it is difficult since we are seeing and experiencing the struggles within our own families.  

For instance, today, my (Wesley) stepfather received a call from his family that his father is in a coma and not doing well.  He can't travel to get to him!  It breaks my heart, but this is the reality that we are currently living in. Be patient they say!  Depend on God they say!  They are absolutely right, it is what we are trying to do, but honestly, with much difficulty.  

May God bring relief quick and allow us to go in to serve our people!  Lets keep spreading the word as there is much to do when we land on the ground.  

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