By Edwin Muhammad
ST. LOUIS—Earlier this summer steady thunderstorms dropped 8-10 inches of rain on the city of St. Louis making it the wettest day in St. Louis history as reported by local meteorologists. Many roofs were tested beyond their design capacity as rain found its way into thousands of homes. This left families across the region scrambling in the early morning hours looking for pots and buckets to catch the rain pouring in from leaking ceilings.
Basements and homes filled up like swimming pools, pushing families out of their homes.
When the sun rose the following morning, many neighborhoods were underwater. As city officials tried to assess the scope of the rain’s impact, concerned neighbors and first responders ventured out into the newly formed lakes to check on their neighbors.
Over the next few days as the local news began to show the impact of the storm and its victims, Sister Deatrice Muhammad of Mosque No. 28 reached out to Sister Charron Muhammad, who currently serves as chairperson of the mosque’s Ministry of Health and Human Services. Sister Deatrice is Student Captain of the MGT and GCC (Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class), the women and girls of the Nation of Islam at the St. Louis mosque.
The two discussed organizing a supply drive for cleaning and personal care products to assist those in the community who were impacted by the floods and faced the task of cleanup in the aftermath of the storm.
The Ministry of Health and Human Services quickly organized and promoted the supply drive through text messages and social media. Cleaning and personal supplies began to pour into the mosque lobby as the Muslims and the community responded to the call. Supporters gave donations to the mosque to help purchase supplies. The Believers purchased extra supplies when they went shopping and brought them to the mosque.
Sister Charron Muhammad reported that when she was at a local dollar store purchasing supplies, she drew the attention of other shoppers who were whispering amongst themselves about why she had multiple shopping carts full of cleaning supplies, mops and brooms. When she shared with them about the mosque sponsored supply drive for victims of the floods a fellow shopper handed her cash to help purchase more supplies and thanked the Believers for responding to the needs of the community.
The effort was promoted to the community about the supply drive giveaway and after the Sunday, August 21 mosque meeting, the Believers setup shop on the mosque parking lot and distributed cleaning and personal care supplies to the community. Traffic began to back up on West Florissant Avenue and members of the community began to pull over in front of the mosque to receive the much-needed supplies.
Even a Metro Bus stopped in front of the mosque for several minutes after passengers expressed a need for the supplies. The FOI (Fruit of Islam, the men of the Nation of Islam) distributed supplies to many passengers on the bus. The driver thanked the Believers for what they were doing to help the community.