Wednesday, July 31, 2013

99 Orphans Rap

Finally, after weeks of hype and hours of hard work, the greatest rap about Orphans is now online! Watch below, and donate money to Orphans!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Only 20 Orphans Left!

The 99 Orphans team is happy to say that we were able to raise money for orphans during the ZF annual Delaware community iftar on Thursday.  Each of the members had certain time slots to stay at the orphan table and we all gave our presentation to the attendees of the iftar.  Although we were hoping for more, we are grateful to say that we got about $2,000 from some of the iftar guests who visited our table and generously put donations in our orphan boxes.  

It was also great to hear that one of our members was able to get $2,170 in anonymous donations.  We are really grateful to these donors and we know that the orphans are, too!  

Overall, we now have twenty orphans left to reach our goal of 99 orphans.  We hope you'll step in to help us reach our goal this Ramadan!  Don't forget that every good deed done during this month gets multiplied many times more on your scale of good deeds.  Have a great last-half-of-Ramadan and don't forget to help the orphans!

~ Nur Kose
DE Team

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cookies as Gifts for Guests

Among the preparations for the ZF DE annual iftar for the 99 Orphan team was Cookie Day.  A group of girls from the 99 Orphans team met together to bake and pack 300 cookies to give as gifts to guests on the iftar date.  On July 23rd, eight girls met together during early noon in one member's house.  Full of energy and excited to get started, they set up different stations in the kitchen and dining room and got right to work.

The kitchen was bustling with activity as the girls worked on their self-assigned tasks.  Reahaam, Nur, and Hana first worked on cutting, hole-punching and writing the website address on the tags while Samiyah and Rania worked on warming up the cookie dough and Huda and Merve made dough balls and put them on the trays.

After the first hour went by, things began getting more organized.  The girls realized that making the cookies was going to take time and they only had a few hours left together.  Soon, each girl had an important job to do that was necessary to the completion of the cookies.  

Rania was in charge of the kitchen.  It was her job to make sure that the cookies were cooked well and didn't get burnt.  She also had to place the dough on the tray in such a way to make the maximum amount of cookies in one time but also avoiding having the cookies stick together.

The other girls were situated around the dining table to work on packing the cookies.  After showing the girls how to wrap cookies, cut ribbon, tie the plastic wrap, curl the ribbon, attach the tags to the ribbon, and the other jobs that had to be done, Nur set the girls at different areas around the table.  

One wrapped a cookie with plastic wrap.  Another cut ribbon and handed them to the girl who tied the packs.  Two girls worked on curling the ribbon and another girl piled the cookie packs together and kept a count of how many were done and how many more needed to be done.

Although it was lots of fun, the girls also got very tired.  After a few hours, many of the girls wanted to take breaks and play.  The girls curling the ribbon had sharp pains in their wrists after a few hours of curling.  "My wrist was hurting so badly," Samiyah remembers, grinning.  All the girls had to keep washing and drying their hands whenever they got chocolate on them so the packs wouldn't get dirty.  

To add to the difficulty, all the girls were fasting and couldn't sample the cookies they were making.  Although they were surrounded by delicious-looking treats and the smell was wafting all around them, they had to continue making and packing the cookies without getting a taste.  "It was really hard for me not to eat the cookies," one member says.  "I kept reaching for the crumbs and almost popping them in my mouth but remembering just in time that I was fasting."

By the time five hours had passed by, the girls were exhausted and the cookies were only half done.  They tried to speed up, but they had less energy and things were getting done slower.  They finally decided to complete the cookies the next day.  Rania would bake 100 more cookies at home during the night after Tarawih prayers and before Fajr.  The rest of the girls would meet up with her and finish packing up those cookies.  

Satisfied with their plan, the girls quickly finished up the cookies they had and got ready to leave.  Their mothers noticed the difference in their appearance and energy levels.  One remarked, laughing, "On the way there, all the girls in the car were talking at once and laughing.  But on the way back, is was very quiet.  No one was talking."  

The girls were tired, but they were happy that they had done something good.  They hoped their efforts would help get money for orphans.  And they hoped the real cookies would taste good because the burnt ones they brought back home with them weren't that great.

On the day of the iftar, the trays of colorful cookie packs looked wonderful.  All the guests were excited to sample the cookies on their iftar plates.  All of the kids excitedly talked with each other about their cookies and everyone thought they were delicious.

The girls were satisfied with their cookie-making venture and are already planning something similar for the future...maybe brownies...

Were you one of the lucky cookie tasters?  Did you enjoy eating the cookies?  If you did, please consider donating to the orphan project and giving enjoyment to an orphan the way the orphan team members worked hard to give enjoyment to you.

~ Nur Kose
DE Team

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ramadan Updates

The 99 Orphans Project team hopes everyone is having a great Ramadan!  We've been working on events and fundraising projects this Ramadan and have raised money for lots of orphans, Alhamdulillah. 

During the first week of Ramadan, a group of the 99 Orphan members traveled from Delaware to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to attend an iftar and Tarawih in a Lancaster masjid.  Before leaving Delaware, we rehearsed our presentation a few times so we would be ready to present in front of the Muslim community in Lancaster.  Alhamdulillah, we were able to raise lots of money there.  We want to extend a hearty thank you to the donors in Lancaster who helped us raised money for a total of 9 orphans!  We are also really excited that the Lancaster youth are interested in starting their own orphans project in their community. 

Recently, a few 99 Orphan team members have helped out at a Zakat Foundation presentation in Long Island, New York at the Long Island Muslim Society (LIMS) masjid.  Alhamdulillah, we were able to raise money for 6 orphans in LIMS. 

Our total count now is 67.  With help from donors like you, we have been able to sponsor 67 orphans for a year.  With your continued support, feedback, and donations, insha Allah we will be able to quickly finish our goal of raising money for 99 orphans in 2013!

~ Nur Kose
DE Team

Friday, July 19, 2013

Surah Nas

Surah-tun-Nas is the last surah, and it explains how Allah has provided a safe haven from the evil of Satan's sneaking whispers. It tells you how He protects us, and He is the king and God of mankind. After I read the surah's meaning, I felt safe knowing that I have Allah to take refuge in. He offers a safe haven from Satan and his evil whispering, and it's as though the haven has all the necessities to make you feel at home. If there is anything better then being safe and protected, it's being safe and  protected by Allah. This reminds me of the orphans, that don't have the basic necessities of life, and Insha Allah, we'll remember the orphans who are unprotected, and open our hearts. During this Ramadan, let's all do our part to help the orphans.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Help from Local Muslim Restaurants

The 99 Orphan team created our second video during our meeting, and getting ready to welcome Ramadan, we decided it would be a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about orphan needs for this year.  We composed an email that individuals could send to their close family and friends to support the cause.  Last year during Ramadan ZF was able to achieve the goal of raising money for 100 wells in Africa and insha Allah this Ramadan we'd like to repeat it and complete our mission to get sponsors for 99 orphans in a year.

During one of our previous meetings we had created a brochure that could be handed out to stores to give out, and that's what we did.  After we finished the email template, a group of us went out to different Muslim-owned stores like Rohani, Philly Express, Oasis Cafe, and Country Maid.  We handed out a stack of brochures and gave a short brief about our project.  During the process, we got a generous donation from one of the store owners.

Alhamdulillah, we are on the 44th orphan and would appreciate your help in finishing the sponsorship.  We are looking forward to a blessed Ramadan filled with generous donations and happy orphans.  Let's make this Ramadan a little bit more meaningful by giving a child a brighter future.  

~Samiyah Ali Khan
Secretary, Head of Gratitude Committee
DE Team

Friday, July 5, 2013

Preparing for Ramadan

Ramadan is coming up in only a few days, insha Allah.  The 99 Orphans team members are really excited for the blessed month and we hope you are, too. 

We hope you will help support the orphans more than ever during Ramadan to get extra special reward in this special month.  Remember that while we will have yummy iftars and cool air-conditioned houses, many orphans will not get to enjoy these blessings. 

The 99 Orphans team is meeting up tomorrow, insha Allah, to discuss Ramadan plans.  With your support insha Allah, we will be able to reach our goal of helping 99 orphans this year. 

~ Nur Kose
DE Team