SMILE will hand deliver cozy blankets warm coats to the homeless this holiday season.
While families celebrated the New Year, a team of volunteers organized a coat and blanket drive to serve the homeless in Passaic County. SMILE, established in 2011 as a nonprofit social service organization, will be hitting the streets in Passaic County on a mission to hand deliver coats and blankets to those without shelter. The mission of this project is to empower the homeless in the local neighborhoods. The group set up bins at five central locations in New Jersey to collect donated coats and blankets.
The SMILE Coat and Blanket drive comes at a timely moment, as recent statistics reveal that 12 thousand people in New Jersey will be spending the winter season outdoors. New Jersey witnessed an overwhelming 6 percent increase in the homeless population over the span of two years. SMILE volunteers are aware of these alarming statistics and are swiftly taking action in an effort to warm the bodies of homeless in the blisteringly cod weather.
SMILE Chairman, Salim Patel, who also serves on the Passaic Board of Education envisions the impact this initiative will have on those without shelter. “As economic recovery struggles, it’s important for all of us to come together and help those in need, a blanket will go a long way in these wintry nights.“
A diverse group of volunteers composed of working professionals, students, and youth community leaders demonstrate their zealous desire to contribute to the drive. The volunteers continue to evoke refreshing passion for this cause noting their concern for the positive regard of the community and relating on a personal level to the less fortunate.
Said Shamsuddin, a Boonton youth community leader says, “We live in warm houses and have warm showers yet we still complain about the cold. Imagine a family that can’t afford a blanket or a child who can't even afford a warm coat living outside.”
Hala Amer of the Muslim Mom Network says, "This blanket/coat drive is about understanding what true need is, and embracing all that we've been blessed with. It's about confronting the side of us that wastes, and complains, and trading that in for a new self - a more humble self. "
What: Coat and Blanket Drive
When: December 28, 2011 - January 26, 2011.
Who: Blankets/Coats will be hand delivered to homeless in Passaic County and across the State of New Jersey
Drop Off Locations:
- Masjid Omar ibn-al-Khatab (Paterson, NJ on 501 Getty Avenue)
- Islamic Society of Central Jersey, (4145 Route 1 South, Monmouth Junction, NJ)
- New Brunswick Islamic Center (1330 Livingston Avenue, North Brunswick, NJ)
- Darul Arqam School (8 Thomas Street, South River, NJ)
- Muslim Mom Network (Local Mother Email Group)
- Muslim Youth Community Center (MYCC)
- Tariq Hussain, Executive Director, 201-647-2941, email@example.com
- Amml Hussein, Public Relations, 908-803-8004, ammlhussein@
- Salim Patel, Chairman, 201-248-0684, SalimYPatel@
Smile offers a broad range of social services to downtrodden communities in New Jersey. The organization launched a food pantry initiative to uplift communities and provide hunger relief. Dedicated volunteers are helping bring a free community health clinic to Passaic County. SMILE continues to pursue its mission to transform communities from a grassroots perspective.