Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fighting poverty and homelessness with spokes?

By Khadijah Rivera

For over a decade Dr Husain Nagamia a renowned Cardiologist has quietly waged his own war against poverty. With the precision of a Maestro leading his orchestra he beckons representatives from all the mosques in the Tampa Bay area to support the mission of the Tampa Bay Muslim Alliance in bringing together the Islamic Charity Festival. This annual event distributes toys, clothing and medical care to the disadvantaged of our fair city.
Homelessness has no single face. It can be a man, a woman or even a child. Although temporary it can last for years at time and is life changing. Its impact can be seen on the city streets where people line up for food. Why are our tax dollars flagrantly set aside for war machines overseas?
Many of us are only a few paychecks away from poverty and it can hit anyone, and at anytime. Teen runaways, Battered women and children, mental illness, addictions and financial ruin can send one plummeting into its claws. When an enemy is close to home, one must fight it. This year Dr Nagamia was faced with a challenge that he accepted. If he could give transportation to the homeless could they find jobs, housing and medical care? This year over 100 bicycles are earmarked for the festival. Fifty will be distributed to the children like last year, but the drum roll will follow when 50 more bikes will be distributed among the homeless of Tampa Bay in hopes of impacting their lives. Giving them a vehicle requires them to have disposable money for gas, insurance, tags and title etc. A bicycle can give them the access to services that they may not have been able to a second chance and hope.
Although no one can claim it will be a solution it can certainly have an impact. This year invite yourself to the 11th Annual Islamic charity festival bring a smile, a helping hand and donate generously to this worthy cause.

Location: Riverfront Park , Downtown Tampa April 27th , 2008 11am-6PMFor more information: 813 661 6161

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