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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Islamic Relief USA's Volunteers 'Backbone' of Organization

It’s National Volunteer Week, and organizations across the country are celebrating the hard work done by volunteers in a variety of fields. Developed by the Points of Light Institute, the week commemorates the one-year anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and the Volunteer Generation Fund. The theme this year, “Celebrating People in Action,” focuses on honoring volunteers who “take action and solve significant problems in their community. Here at Islamic Relief USA, 3,000 to 5,000 individuals volunteer in the Virginia head office and around the world. Nazia A. Hossain, IR USA’s national volunteer coordinator, said the relief work done by IR USA would be impossible without the support of its dedicated volunteers.

“Many of our volunteers are in the field supporting our fundraising tours and tabling at conventions,” Hossain said. Virtual volunteers also handle some of the behind the scenes work at annual campaigns like Day of Dignity. Hossain said the organization has a volunteer grants coordinator, communications writers, and volunteers who helm donation tables at fundraising events and large conferences like ISNA and ICNA.

Islamic Relief USA’s volunteer network has grown exponentially over the past five years, mainly from word of mouth and social networking sites like Facebook. Hossain said the organization’s volunteers are the “backbone of IR USA. Our own CEO was a volunteer for over 10 years before he joined IR USA. Volunteers are the ones that go out and spread awareness of our causes, and maybe they do not work for IR USA, but they live IR USA. [They] deserve special recognition during National Volunteers week. It’s a time for us to recognize that the volunteers are really the vital links that help us help those who need help most.”

For more information on how to volunteer and get involved with Islamic Relief USA, click here. You can also find us on Facebook.
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