MCGP – Zakat/SadaqaCommittee – 2021 Highlights

ZAKAT/SADAQA & SOCIAL SERVICES ACTIVITY:
 Over 70 cases considered, mostly women
 Around $330,000 distributed
 8 cases became self-sufficient – needed temporary help
 20-25 need longer term help
 30-35 cases active at any one time
 Covid had negative impacts
       - Especially at the beginning
       - And after end of unemployment benefits and eviction moratorium

CLIENT BACKGROUND STATISTICS (ZAKAT/SADAQA):

  • South-Asian (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka)             27/46%

  • Mid-East - includes Morocco, Turkey                                    16/27%

  • African-American - includes African                                      12/20%

  • Other - includes Puerto Rico, Myanmar, Hindu                        4/ 7%


CASE HIGHLIGHTS:
 Sharp uptick in stress level of existing clients due to pandemic
 Increase in new clients due to pandemic
 4 clients who had worked themselves to a self-sufficient level came back for help due to job loss
 Number of clients moved due to various reasons – MCGP provided help with the move/transition: (11 moved with 4 out of NJ)
 Sister with 3 kids was widowed while they were visiting home country and got stuck due to restrictions
 3 refugee families ran into severe financial crunch due to job loss
 Brother and his disabled mother both were hospitalized for Covid
 Uptick in cases after unemployment benefits ended
 Uptick in stress as evictions are starting after moratorium ended

COOPERATION with OTHER MASAJID/ORGANIZATIONS:
 4 cases worked in cooperation with ICNA Relief
 3 cases responded to upon referral from NYU Imam Khalid
 1 case responded to upon referral from U-Penn Chaplain Patty
 Referred the asylum family to Cornerstone Sr Suzy for guidance in the vacuum left by IRC – minimal help received
 6 cases coordinated with local Masajid (ICMC, ISCJ, As-Saffat, ICE)
 Started to work together with the Social-Workers
 Coordinated with Youth Sisters’ Group food distribution program – added 13 client families to their list
 6 domestic violence cases given continuing support and guidance
 Few cases from out of state contacted MCGP for help as generally they found Masajid non-responsive during early days of Covid
 Family with 3 young children seeking asylum – IRC lost their budget for the program – leaving family lost – MCGP stepped up with some help from Cornerstone

ADDITIONAL HELP TO NEEDY:
Hunger Relief: MCGP delivered around 48,000 meals at several stops including senior housing through our Hunger Van. Also, MCGP prepares/serves ~200 in Bordentown weekly; Team includes Sajid Syed, Shaesta Chaudhry, Amal Chaudhry

Social Work Services: Setup in January 2021 with Director Ms. Raheela Hussain, MSW, LSW, works at MCGP 10 hours a week with office hours on Fridays, 11am- 3pm.:https://www.mcgpfreeclinic.org/socialwork

Additional volunteer members of the Social Work Advisory Team (SWAT) include Arabic and Urdu speaking members who work in coordination with the MCGP Zakat and Free Clinic committees.

SWS has serviced 9 clients since January 2021 for mental health services, housing, legal advice, food stamps and community support resources.

Looking ahead, SWS aims to provide community wide workshops for both adults and youth with a focus on mental health and increase Ms. Hussain's hours to full time (40 hours a week) in the near future, insha Allah, to respond to this growing need. 
Team includes Drs. Reshmi Siddique, Hina Ghory, Sana Malik and Br. Abdul Hakim Weekes

Afghan Refugee: MCGP assisted refugees on the Ft Dix base with essential in-kind items (baby formula, diapers, winter items, strollers, one Quran for almost every family,
prayer rugs and countless other items), The team is now as involved with resettled families (~50 people so far) off the base and local to MCGP with a view to financial
independence and education/employment/training.
Team includes: Lindsey Stephenson, Arshe Ahmed, Tariq Alam, Haseeb Ahson, Nadia Banduka, Farah Hossein, Artina Sheik, Anida Masuod, Nagham Yaqoubi

IN-KIND SUPPORT
 Pakistan Clothing Drive with Helping Hands
 Syria In-Kind Drive with Helping Hands
 India Covid (oxygen cylinders and hospital items) drive with India Muslim Relief Council
 Gift cards for Plainsboro Pantry screened clients
 On-site food pantry

INSTITUTIONAL RELATIONS/PARTNERS
Due diligence conducted and Supporting:
 Cornerstone - counseling
 ICNA Relief – relief, counseling
 Medina Clinic – free medical care
 Bayan University- subsidize education for young imams, chaplains, scholars
 Sisters of IMBI – women shelter
 Muslim Education Converts Center of America (MECCA) - new Muslim
engagement

AREAS OF FOCUS for 2022
 Work with partners on improving women’s shelter & counseling;
 Ramp up social services with dedicated help of social worker;
 Roadmap for Afghan refugees to self-sufficiency (as government benefits expire);
 Intelligence sharing with other Masajids
 Best practice sharing with other social services institutions

We are profoundly grateful to our donors, volunteers, staff and appeal for your support given the need driven by Covid, influx of refugees and growing awareness of MCGP: https://www.themuslimcenter.org/donate

Committee Members: Dr Zak Maniya, Salim Manzar, Imam Safwan Eid, Sheikha Abeer, Jamshed Khan, Zakir Khan, Jabeen Sheik, Parvez Rostom (Chair)