During the Islamic month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during the daylight hours as an act of submission, solidarity, and remembrance. One of the main reasons for fasting is to call attention to those who go hungry every day, not necessarily as an exercise of religious expression, but as a fact of life, where every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger. Recognizing that hunger is a global issue, the Fast-a-Thon is aimed at creating awareness about the issue of hunger and homelessness while raising money for a charity dedicated to this cause.
Last year, about 130 Muslim Student Associations nationwide hosted a Fast-a-Thon, raising over $46,000 to support local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and food pantries. Muslims across the country share the spiritual and enlightening experience of fasting with peers by hosting a Fast-a-Thon. UMMA at DePaul invites students of all faiths and backgrounds to fast together, working with co-sponsors to raise consciousness of a social justice issue while establishing mutually beneficial relationships during the daylight hours of October 14. The event will build solidarity amongst the diverse DePaul community and remind us of our common social responsibility by asking the following question: "Will you go hungry for one day so someone else won't?"
UMMA has requested DePaul organizations, departments, individuals, and local businesses to donate at least $1 for every student that participates. UMMA had over 300 participants last year and hopes for an even larger turnout this year.
"Donors can help our cause by pledging to donate either $1 for each student or donating one lump sum, or by providing gift items for a raffle for our participants (such as gift cards). All of our monetary donations will benefit the Chicago chapter of Project Downtown, part of a nationwide campaign to address the issue of hunger and homelessness," says Erum Ibrahim, UMMA President.
The Chicago chapter meets Sundays to distribute food and clothing to shelters and persons in need around the city. "Our Fast-a-Thon participants will be genuinely turning words into action as they fast for one day and then engage in community service with their peers. We hope that the Fast-a-thon can bring together people of different races and religions," says Ibrahim.
Several campus organizations are collaborating on this event that encourages building relationships, engaging in dialogue and service, and engages the diversity at DePaul University and the city of Chicago.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 773.494.1645 or complete the form at their website to co-sponsor the event.
Follow Naazish YarKhan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/yarkhan