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In this newsletter: 

  1. $38 MILLION!!! Our Impact in Just 9 Years!

  2. Inspirational Speeches Highlight Our Ninth Annual Banquet

  3. CHAMPIONS! U18 Tigers Earn First Place at Turf Fest Tournament

  4. Binns ASP Gets Special Visit from Columbus Division of Police

  5. Reading & Robotics: An Exciting Combination for MY Reading Warriors!

  6. Volunteers' Hard Work Allows MY Family Pantry to Serve More Than 2,000 Clients Last Week

  7. Register for Our Family Platinum Card Today!

  8. Have You Read Our Annual Report Yet? It's 32 Pages of Great Info!

  9. Helpline: Rent & Utilities Support Information for Clients

  10. MY Deah's Warehouse Donation Bins Locations


MY Project USA's Impact:

MY Project USA Has Invested $38 MILLION Into the Community in Just 9 Years

$3 Million Invested in Hiring 350 Employees & Local Small Business Contractors 

MY Project USA's Administrative Costs Are Less Than 2% of Total as Zerqa Abid & BOD Works Pro-Bono 


MY Project USA has come a long way from its humble beginnings in my kitchen. I had no money, no office and little support when I launched the organization in 2014. I am simply humbled by the enormous impact of this organization, and I am in awe of all of you, our village. After thanking God, I would like to thank all of you for your support and believing in me and in these amazing children and families whose lives are changed forever because of MY Project USA.  

As you know, I started this organization to protect and empower our children and parents against pimps and drugs dealers. I chose the Hilltop area as my pilot neighborhood because: 

  • About 25% of households are under the poverty line in the 43228, 43223 & 43204 ZIP codes, according to the 2021 census
  • The median annual income of 50% of our clients is below $7,000 per household
  • This poverty makes them the most vulnerable as it leads to hunger, homelessness and physical and mental illnesses. At the root of this poverty is unemployment or not having livable wages for most of these individuals

As we were gathering numbers and analyzing our data to create the above infographic for our annual banquet last week, I was truly humbled to note our impact. MY Project USA started with the service to address the basic needs of these families and invested money in many areas but specially made significant impact in these categories:

  • Addressing Food Insecurity: Passed 5M Meals & Snacks - about $25M worth of food to feed; Served 100K households through MY Family Pantry, Food Market, MY Soup Kitchen & MY Community Cafe 
  • Addressing Homelessness & Other Basic Needs: $1.5M Invested to Support 150K Adults through MY Helpline
  • Creating Safe, Nurturing Spaces for Youth to Provide Academic & Recreational Program: $4.5M Invested 150K Youth through MY Reading Warriors, Hilltop Tigers Soccer Club, Summer Camps, Afterschool Enrichment, etc.
  • Enhancing Neighborhood & Environment: Invested $775K in Land Purchase & Capital Upgrades
  • Addressing Health & Wellness Needs: Provided Free Vaccination & Health Screening $100K   

For a long-term impact on the families, MY Project USA is addressing poverty by:

  • Creating Job Opportunities: Hired 350 Employees and Contractors; invested $3M in Human Resources through various programs
  • Empowering Unskilled, Underserved Women, Refugees, Immigrants, Former Felons: Provided ESL, Driving, Vocational & Entrepreneurship Training; Invested $150K

Regardless of the fact that we have served more than 290,000 clients through various services mentioned above, unfortunately, there is more to be done. As we celebrate our amazing successes, I want us to remain focused on the long-term impact and empowerment of the community by investing following three projects:

  • Issa Jeylani Memorial Recreational Center – Save a Youth
  • Women Empowerment Programs – Strengthen a Family
  • Sponsor a Meal – Feed a Future

Please click on the link below and donate now and help me uplift our youth and families and change their lives forever. 

In Solidarity to Youth & Families, 
Zerqa Abid,
Founder, President & Executive Director, MY Project USA


MY Project USA's Annual Banquet:

Last Saturday, Our Village Gathered to Celebrate Our Youth. 

Inspirational Speeches Highlight Our Ninth Annual Banquet

Thank You to Our Keynote Speaker, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, for Joining Us

Highlighted by powerful speeches, MY Project USA's ninth annual banquet – "Narratives of Resilience" – was a humongous success Saturday night at the Ohio Union.

MY Project USA handed out the annual Deah's Awards and the Chrys Gee Activist Award. Those in attendance also heard moving and impactful speeches from Founder & Executive Director Zerqa Abid, FazlRabi Rehmanayar, Isha Hussein, Anna Khadija Borsick and Hilltop Tigers coaches Ali Jeylani and Bashir Ahmed. 

The highlight of the evening was the keynote address made by our guest of honor, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Rep. Omar is the first Somali American in the U.S. Congress and is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.

We will be sharing video of several of the speeches in coming weeks. Until then, click the button below to see more than 100 photos from the event.


Hilltop Tigers:

CHAMPIONS! U18 Tigers Earn First Place at Turf Fest Tournament

Our Hilltop Tigers closed out the fall season in style with our Under-18 squad taking home the championship from the Turf Fest tournament this past weekend!

The Tigers earned their first-place medals on Sunday thanks to a hard-fought 3-1 victory against DFA Premier. Our program nearly won two championships on the weekend, as our U13 team also had an awesome weekend. The U13 Tigers advanced out of group play to make it to the championship game before falling 4-2 to Ohio Premier.

The Turf Fest event, organized by our friends at Ohio Galaxies FC, featured dozens of teams of boys and girls from various age groups with all games played on turf fields across the Dayton area. Needless to say, it was a busy weekend for our players and our coaches! Thank you to U18 coach Abdi Idris and U13 coach Ali Jeylani for their efforts. Also, a special thank you to MY Project USA team member Abdi Bakari for documenting all of the action!

The Turf Fest event officially concludes the fall season for our Hilltop Tigers, who now come inside for the indoor season. Stay tuned for more photos and updates in coming weeks.

We are always proud to say that the Hilltop Tigers are more than just a youth soccer program. It is a well-established outlet for youth people that helps keep them off the streets and curbs the pipeline to gangs and drugs. The program also stresses education, putting its members on a better path academically. 

Thank you to the Ohio Department of Education, City of Columbus and the Columbus Youth Foundation for their support of our Hilltop Tigers. 



Binns ASP Gets Special Visit from Columbus Division of Police

Thank you to members of the Columbus Division of Police for visiting our Recharge after-school program at Binns Elementary School last week. The children got to check out a police cruiser and worked on conflict resolution worksheets.

We would also like to thank our Binns ASP team for all of their hard work: Robin Wilson, Haleigh Wright, Emily Meece, Sahra Ali and Sahara Sheikh.

Finally, MY Project USA would like to recognize the efforts of Education Manager Jenna Herron, Assistant Education Manager Felix Mijangos, Youth Program Director Katana Mullen, Assistant Youth Program Director Muna Cheik and their team of aides and volunteers that work so hard to make these programs successful for the youth people we serve.

All programs are free for qualifying families and are made possible thanks to the financial support provided by the Ohio Department of Education, United Way of Central Ohio, the Ingram-White Castle Foundation and the Siemer Family Foundation.


MY Reading Warriors:

Reading & Robotics: An Exciting Combination for MY Reading Warriors!

MY Reading Warriors continued their awesome work with students at Eakin Elementary School last week with a focus on engineering and robotics.

The fun started with a group reading session of the book "Rosie Revere, Engineer." After that, the group worked on a fun and interactive activity dealing with closed circuits and batteries. The students even got the opportunity to create their own robots! Thank you to The Be W.I.S.E Initiative for helping with the program.

MY Reading Warriors is an initiative led by young people for young people, a team of college and high school students who plan weekly programs at Eakin to expose youngsters to books, reading, learning and, most importantly, focus on providing an emotionally safe space and mentorship for these students.

MY Reading Warriors serves students on a weekly basis. Our team consists of the following people: MY Project USA Board Member Safa Mohamed, Nadine Helmy, Yassmin Ben Haila, Dina Kanaan, Adam Khalifa, Zainah Shaheen and Dahlia Daboul. We thank them so much for all of their hard work!


MY Family Pantry:

Volunteers' Hard Work Allows MY Family Pantry to Serve More Than 2,000 Clients Last Week

More than 2,000 clients were served last week, including 656 alone on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Mid-Ohio Market at MY Project USA powered by MY Family Pantry.

A total of 2,074 men and women visited our pantry at the Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center from Tuesday, Oct. 31-Saturday, Nov. 4. Among those were 559 families, including 98 that visited us for the first time. As always, a menu full of nutritious food was available to our clients, and for that we thank our awesome partners at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.

We thank MY Family Pantry Director Ramy El-Assal and his entire volunteer team from Ohio State (including Michael Abou-Elias, Rahaf Shalash, Noora Rajjoub, Elsa Wani, Stella Aboshahba, Nawal Abdinur and Chai Annamreddi). Many of these names not only volunteers on Saturday but were honored with awards during our Annual Banquet that night. We also thank pantry team members Ezatullah Momand and Jajuan Parker for their hard work every week.

Thanks to these men and women, we are able to distribute fresh produce and groceries to hundreds of individuals in our community each week.


Family Platinum Card:

Register for Our Family Platinum Card Today!

MY Project USA is still actively registering low-income clients for our new Family Platinum Card. This brand-new initiative is FREE and has several benefits.

Benefits Include:

  • 20% off discount at MY Community Cafe and Global Gifts & Thrift
  • Monthly prize raffles
  • Holiday gifts
  • “Fast Pass” (a way to speed up the sign-in process) for MY Project USA events    
  • Special “Members Only” events
  • And MORE to be announced!
  • Please come to the Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center (3275 Sullivant Ave. Columbus, OH 43204) to sign up.

Annual Report: 

Have You Read Our Annual Report Yet? It's 32 Pages of Great Info!

If you have not yet read our latest annual report, click on the image above (or the button below) to download a PDF of the 32-page report. We did our best to put eight years of work in these pages, but that's nowhere near enough to attempt to tell the full story. 

MY Helpline:

Rent & Utilities Support Available at MY Project USA

We have been working very hard in securing grants and building collaboration with other partners to help our clients. Thanks to The Columbus Foundation, United Way of Central Ohio, and IMPACT Community Action, we are still able to help more of our families with their rent and utilities. If you or someone you know needs help, please ask them to contact us at (614) 905-0977 or helpadmin@myprojectusa.org.

MY Deah's Warehouse:

12 Locations In Columbus To Drop Off Donations – Truck Pick-Up Available For Large Donations

You can now drop off your donations of new and gently used clothes, shoes, books, toys and other small non-breakable items in a donation box near you. These locations include: 

  • Noor Islamic Cultural Center –  5001 Wilcox Rd. Dublin, OH 43016
  • Masjid Nimrah – 4501 Refugee Rd. Columbus, OH 43232
  • MAS Youth Center – 4615 Northtowne Blvd. Columbus, OH 43229
  • Turkish American Society of Ohio (TASO) – 2885 W. Dublin Granville Rd. Columbus, OH 43235
  • Ahlul Bayt Society – 2580 W. Dublin Granville Rd. Columbus, OH 43235
  • The First Congregational Church – 444 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43215
  • MY Deah's Warehouse – 4004 Fondorf Dr. Columbus, OH 43228. (Business Hours Only)
  • Global Gifts & Thrift – 4730 Cemetery Rd. Hilliard, OH 43206. (Business Hours Only)
  • Heritage Christian Church – 7413 Maxtown Rd. Westerville, OH 43082
  • Omar Ibn El-Khattab Masjid – 580 Riverview Dr. Columbus, OH 43202
  • The Destiny Center – 1561 Old Leonard Ave. Columbus, OH 43219
  • Bethel International United Methodist Church – 1220 Bethel Rd. Columbus, OH 43220

We are looking for more locations. If interested in helping us or have any other questions, please contact us at warehouse@myprojectusa.org.


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MY Project USA
3275 Sullivant Ave | Columbus, Ohio  43204
614-905-0977 | info@myprojectusa.org

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