Representatives from the area’s Muslim community will be hosting Humanitarian Day at Martin Luther King Park on North Rose Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The event will be aimed at benefiting the Kalamazoo area homeless community. According to organizers of the event, the volunteers will provide the area homeless with “food, clothing, hygiene packs, children’s toys and school supplies, love and respect.”
Humanitarian Day is a national Muslim event, which was started by the nonprofit ILM (Intellect, Love, Mercy) Foundation in 2000. The event originally took place in the Los Angeles area and has been ongoing for the past six years. While only five cities participated in 2005, efforts at increasing participation in the event led to 13 more cities being involved in 2006.
Twenty-two cities worldwide are expected to participate in this year’s event.
Zarinah Elamin-Naeem, lead organizer for the Kalamazoo event, said she decided to organize the event locally after her experiences organizing Humanitarian Day in Detroit the past two years. When Elamin-Naeem and her husband moved to Kalamazoo from Detroit, she said, she felt it was an important event to spread to Kalamazoo.
Elamin-Naeem said that one of her main motivations for bringing the event to Kalamazoo was to combat negative public perceptions about the homeless. (MORE)