Across the country, schools are opening for in-person learning. Returning to school requires school supplies that are primarily the parents’ responsibility to provide. Community school supply giveaways are a much needed and appreciated relief for many parents.
Sister Maryam K. Muhammad, author and founder/director of Heal Thy Life Center, Inc. of Chicago, utilized her non-profit organization to host a school supply giveaway on August 19, on the football field of a school her organization adopted, Wendell Elementary School.
Ninety-five backpacks filled with school supplies, such as; pencils, pens, notebooks, paper, folders, crayons, markers, colored pencils, rulers, and glue sticks, were distributed. Gender specific backpacks were available, blue for boys and pink for girls. The backpacks for girls were decorated with unicorns and hearts, and the backpacks for boys were decorated with dinosaurs and sharks. The efforts were appreciated.
“Their little faces really lit up, they were super excited. Inspired by our program, Fit for Motherhood, which provides essential items for mothers and their children every 90 days, such as diapers, clothes, play pens, wipes, baby lotion, baby wash, car seats, and bassinets, and our monthly diaper program, the mothers asked us when are we going to provide school supplies? We definitely wanted to make an effort to oblige their request,” Sister Maryam Muhammad told The Final Call.
Student MGT Captain Debi Muhammad, owner/director of Debi’s Daycare in Columbus, Ohio, hosted their 4th Annual School Supply Giveaway. On August 21, the daycare’s parking lot was transformed into a festive back-to-school drive.
The back-to-school drive included face painting, checkers, and food and slushies. “We filled backpacks with paper, calculators, papers, pencils, and glue for students in elementary school. The middle school and high school students received backpacks that were filled with grade compliant supplies. All the backpacks included Covid-19 safety items such as masks, hand sanitizers, and wipes. The drive was able to provide 70 backpacks and on September 4, an additional 70 backpacks were distributed at a different location,” said Sister Debi Muhammad.
In conjunction with Debi’s Daycare, an organization created by the sisters of Muhammad Mosque No. 43 called Moms on the Move was instrumental in attaining donations for this event, and future community service events.
Student FOI Captain Andrew Muhammad of Baltimore, along with members of his organization, Baltimore Brothers Inc., held a Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway and basketball event on August 28. The event consisted of distributing 500 backpacks that were filled with calculators, pencils, notebooks, masks, hand sanitizers, wipes, and notebook paper.
The basketball portion involved a 3-point contest and live scrimmage, where cash prizes were awarded.
“The backpacks were donated directly from the Mayor’s Office of African American Male Engagement (which) gave us the approval to receive the donation of 500 backpacks. In addition to backpacks, 4,000 pounds of dry goods, non-perishable food, were donated by Giant Foods, a Maryland grocery store chain,” he said.
Brother Isaiah Muhammad, a member of Baltimore Brothers Inc., assisted with the planning and execution of the event.
“We had the back-to-school event, to give the students what they needed to prepare themselves for school. I thought about putting on the event because our children had not been physically in a building because of Covid-19, and it’s been hard for some of them to adjust to virtual learning. Their first time going back inside a building, I wanted them to have a smooth transition. This event was also to celebrate them making it through this pandemic and getting back to some since of normalcy. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has taught us, that it’s never going to be normal again, but it does allow some of them to receive hands-on learning,” stated Brother Isaiah Muhammad, a member of Mosque No. 6.
“This event also allowed them to release a lot of that pent up energy. Many parents and students have reached out to me, to thank us for putting on the event and how happy their children were, and they are looking forward to future events. I gave out ten pairs of sneakers. I’ve noticed that a lot of people may think it’s insignificant but when a child actually feels good with what they’re wearing, clothes and/or shoes, they perform better inside the classroom,” he explained.
“I’ve seen children that don’t feel comfortable coming to school because they may not have the right shoes or clothes, but when you provide that to them, it allows them to not think about that and focus on academics.”
Shawntell Muhammad can be contacted at [email protected].