HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Service, compassion and community, three of the core values of Isma'ilism, brought together dozens of volunteers working toward one common mission Sunday to support a vulnerable group of people in need of help.
Dressed in green and ready to serve, a team of volunteers in the local Ismaili Muslim community welcomed cards, loaded up with necessities, for a drive-thru donation drive in Henrico County.
“We consider this our privilege," said Hadi Merchant, an organizer of Sunday's event. “From understanding that the Afghan refugees that are coming to Richmond, within the ethics and principle of our faith, we feel it is our duty to lend a hand for the resettlement of the refugees.”
They collected everything from kitchenware to food, to school supplies from donators, including Zarina.
"I put in a new bedsheet, luggage, bag, and some kitchen stuff," she said. "I am feeling so good."
All the items are for families who escaped terror and violence in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country. Right now, many of those evacuees are rebuilding their lives in Central Virginia at Fort Lee and Fort Pickett before finding permanent housing.
“We want to elevate the status of the human so they can live in dignity," Merchant said. “It is the ethic for generations of the Shia Ismaili Muslims to provide that voluntary service to humanity.”
The items were loaded up into a truck and then given to the International Rescue Committee. The organization will then distribute them to refugees.
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