Hawzah News Agency (Oklahoma, US) – The Islamic Circle of North America Relief (I.C.N.A.) will hand out 700 of those backpacks in Oklahoma, just this weekend.
Nearly one in five children in the United States are living in poverty, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty.
I.C.N.A. volunteers say they feel called to do what they do because according to them, education is a ticket out of poverty.
"A brother in need should be provided with the same thing that we desire for ourselves,” Salman Alam, Assistant Chief Technology Officer said, “So we run this campaign every year to make sure all kids have supplies and they go back to school with confidence".
The 50-year-old Muslim nonprofit is giving out backpacks to not only Muslim students, but anyone in need.
According to Shadid Bajwa, Regional Director of the Mid-West Central I.N.C.A Relief, "God addresses us, but he calls us humans. man-kind. That does not mean Muslim, and that is the basic difference. And that is why we are doing it here. And that's the reason I think people love it that we do it for them".
The campaign is all part of their #onenationonecasue Back to School Drive, which takes place across 35 states and Puerto Rico and in more than110, over thirty days.
last year, the group passed out just over 27,000 backpacks with supplies, meaning they nearly doubled the amount this year.
They say since 2009, more than 150,000 kids in need have been given backpacks.
"It feels great,” Bajwa said, “like I said that it's fulfilling, it satisfies us that we are doing our job as American citizens and being part of the community as well".
So far, three of those events have taken place in Oklahoma City. But you've still got one more chance if you or someone you know needs new supplies.
Sunday from 2:00 P.M., to 4:00 P.M., one last backpack drive here in the metro will be happening at the Grand Mosque here in Oklahoma City. That address is 3102 NW. 48th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.