A story from Ground Zero of the pandemic in Kirkland
A client living at Ground Zero of the COVID-19 outbreak in Kirkland – right next to the Kirkland Life Care Center – lost her job after having been in quarantine for some time. She reached out to us for assistance with food initially. We were able to help her. Then as the situation deteriorated and she lost her job, she found herself unable to pay her rent. Desperately she reached out to several well-known organizations in the Puget Sound area. One told her to call them in 2 weeks and that they would at the most be able to pay only $200. Another said that they would only be able to assist her with utility bills. A 3rd large organization told her to apply and that it would take 3 weeks to process her assistance requests.
With only a few days to go before she missed her rent payment due on April 1, she reached out to MAPS-MCRC. After reviewing her case and considering the emotional stress that she was going through of not just living at Ground Zero of the COVID-19 outbreak and having been in lock down for 3 weeks with the additional stress of having lost her job, MAPS-MCRC decided to pay her full rent. She is extremely thankful for the expeditious help that we were able to provide when the rest of the larger organizations were able to help her. This is an example of the agility with which we operate and make an impact in helping and processing assistance requests purely on need.
Here is a nice thank you email she sent us
Dear Nicky and the MAPS-Muslim Community Resource Center (MCRC) representative,
I wanted to write a letter of gratitude. During a very difficult, and scary time for most, you were there for me. It was your compassion that allowed me to sigh with relief, knowing that my rent was paid and my basics recovered. It is because of you I know I have a roof over my head and I will not lose my home because of the COVID-19 crisis. It is the efforts and the sentiment of people like you and the organization that you work for that creates a sense of community and a safety net for those who do not have one of their own. I am truly grateful. Thank you for supporting me at this time.
Single Muslim Woman in self quarantine for suspected COVID-19
A single Muslimah, who works at a well-known tech. company and shares an apartment in Seattle with 2 other non-Muslim housemates, has been suffering from COVID-19 symptoms. She is in self quarantine and anxious since she has no family or friends here. She reached out to MAPS-MCRC for support. We arranged for volunteers to drop off food, hygiene products and medicines that she requested several times while she was in quarantine. In order not to put our volunteer at risk, we arranged to have these supplies dropped off at her front door with no personal contact.
While she needed urgent help with food and other emergency supplies since she was in self quarantine, her major concern was what would happen to her if she passed away due to the illness. I spoke to her personally and reassured her that we as a Muslim Community are with her. She was very comforted by knowing that despite her self-quarantine she has a community who is standing with her in support. She has provided me with contact of her next of kin in case anything happens to her. I was in touch with her daily to ensure she was doing well.
Here is a Thank you note received from this sister
Assalamualaikum sister Nikhat, I hope my message finds you and yours well and healthy. Me I have seen better days I just had some complications here and there and just dealing with a lot a lot of other pre-existing issues that have Arisen because of covid-19. I have not been able to get out of the house. I’ve just been completely out of it but I appreciate all your help
Thank you for your kindness and generosity nikhat may Allah give you and your volunteers a thousand times more than what you giving me! JAK
A student working 3 jobs who now cannot afford rent or food
A young non-Muslim girl who was working 3 jobs to sustain herself now is unable to work due to the COVID-19 related shutdown of workplaces in the Seattle area. She reached out to MAPS-MCRC for food and gas assistance. Our case manager worked with her and identified the food items that she needed and connected her with the food pantry that we have access to in North Seattle. The food pantry is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and our grant with them allows us to send our clients there when clients need food supplies. This young person was to go to the food pantry on Saturday to pick up the food. However, on Saturday morning she realized that she did not have enough gas in her car to event get there. She reached out to us anxious and worried on Saturday not knowing what to do. We reassured her that we would try to help her the best we can. We met her at nearby gas station and filled her gas tank for her, provided emergency food cards so that she could get some food until she is able to get to the food pantry early next week. This is an example of our partnership with other faith organizations to work collaboratively to assist the most vulnerable in our communities.
This is a Thank you note from her.
THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!! I RRALLY APPRECIATE IT!! YOU GUYS DESERVE SO MUCH AND MORE❤️ YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING! THANK YOU SO MUCH! STAY SAFE AND GOD BLESS YOU GUYS🥰 HOPEFULLY ALLAH GIVES YOU GUYS MORE AND MORE❤️ Thank you from the bottom of my heart thank you🥺 I know you guys are guides of my journey to convert and hopefully you guys can be there all the way.
Youth put up in motel during COVID-19
A young man with COVID-19 symptoms was asked to leave the apartment he was sharing with other room mates who were afraid of getting infected. This young man also could not go home for fear of infecting his family who had a few vulnerable members. This young man had been sleeping in his car since he had no money and nowhere else to go. With his symptoms increasing in intensity he really needed a place to rest.
His helpless mother reached out to MAPS-MCRC in desperation. In tears she explained her situation. The youth could not even speak over the phone because of his cough and he had also lost his voice. The mother had reached out to several other organizations but had not got any help for her son. She wanted some reassurance that her son would not sleep in the car that night. MAPS-MCRC was able to put this young man in a motel for a few nights where he could get some rest and we eventually connected him to other resources who could find an isolation facility for him.
Here is Thank you note receive from the mother
Thank you sister. This is such a big relief to know that your organization was able to help my son. May Allah bless you all.
Request for food assistance from a few seniors living in senior housing
We received a request for food assistance from a few seniors who had been unable to go out to buy food due to their vulnerable health conditions. They reached out to MCRC uncertain if we would be able to deliver to their area. Their needs were very specific because of their health conditions. The MCRC volunteers carefully shopped for the needed items and delivered these to their location within 24 hours. The joy and gratefulness of this group on receiving their food was truly humbling. Their sentiments are best expressed in this thank you note that we received from one of them
Nicky and Khizer,
Writing to say thank you and express my sincere gratitude for you and MCRC!
Thank you for grocery shopping and delivering food for three of us! I know that some of the items were picky and am very grateful you honored them.
Sunday afternoon I prepared pizzas with the dough, peppers, onions, spaghetti sauce and cheese and delivered pizza slices to neighbors. And while I can only speak for myself, I closed my eyes and remembered gentler times. Thanks to you this was the first non-bean and rice dish I prepared for a Sunday dinner in a month and the pizza was delicious, if I say so myself. And oh, the frozen veggies are SO versatile for cooking and are not laden with salt, so other dishes will be less bland. Thank you too for the chicken; a neighbor that you shopped for was craving chicken. My diabetic friend may be beginning to learn how to ration his soda and candy and cookies – time will tell.
I have been inside since I was in the hospital for tests outpatient on 2/27 and had some anesthetic complications, so it is nearly two months for me staying out of stores and meeting online.
Thank you again for your caring and kindness. I and my friends very much appreciate you personally and MCRC!
Young Parents with a sick child needing immediate medical attention
MAPS-MCRC received a call from a young family with a seriously sick child. The husband had lost his job and the trauma that the family was going through was aggravated by the illness of their young child. The child needed to be seen by a specialist at the Swedish Hospital. The family who lived in Kent needed immediate transport to bring their ill child to Swedish Hospital. Without a car or money, they reached out in desperation to MCRC requesting transportation assistance for their sick child.
MAPS-MCRC arranged for transportation for this family to pick them from their home in Kent, WA and take them to Swedish hospital in Redmond, WA because their doctor was available only at that location that day. We were able to utilize the services of a Muslim self-employed person who had lost his job driving for Uber and paid him for providing this help. This way we were able to help two families at the same time. This is just one small example where we are looking to provide financial support to local businesses and the self-employed while at the same time providing humanitarian assistance.