Local Muslims Step Up to Help Haiti

haiti-relief.jpg
American Red Cross
A Haitian man in temporary shelter receives earthquake relief in a box.
Orange County Muslims on Friday plan to ship out to Haiti a 40-foot container full of clothes, medicine, medical equipment, bottled water and other basic necessities.

The relief comes courtesy of the Muslims For Haiti Project, which is a campaign the Anaheim office of Helping Hand USA launched immediately after the devastating quake shook the tiny impoverished nation.

Helping Hand for Relief and Development
is a global humanitarian relief and development organization responding to human sufferings in emergency and disastrous situations anywhere in the world.

Though the organization vows to act "regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, class, location, religion, color, cultural diversity and social background," a "special focus" has been made in recent years to help those living under the poverty line in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Kenya and Sudan.

Haiti changed that.

The MuslimsForHaiti.org website went up quickly, international aid was collected and in-kind donations were solicited in the U.S. Many contributions came from Islamic centers in Orange County and the Inland Empire, according to Helping Hand USA.

Among those who stepped up was Shokat Ali Chohan, who allowed donations to be stored at his SAC Steel warehouse in Los Angeles and supplied many containers. A donor who wished to remain anonymous gave two containers of water bottles to help combat a growing epidemic of unclean water in Haiti.

Community leaders from Islamic centers throughout Southern California have been invited to a send-off event that will run from 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the SAC Steel warehouse, 6130 S. Avalon Blvd., LA.

Friday is a fitting day to have the donations leave out of LAX, as it marks the two-month anniversary of the Haiti earthquake.

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