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In this newsletter: 

  1. MY Project USA Empowers Young Photographer to Explore Future Career

  2. TODAY is the Final Day! Nominations Due for Annual Deah Barakat & Chrys Gee Awards

  3. Khizr Khan Tours MY Project USA, Visits MY Family Pantry

  4. Fun with New Friends: Hilltop Tigers Enjoy Scrimmages with Grandview Squad

  5. Thousands Visit MY Family Pantry Last Week; More Than 700 People Served Last Saturday

  6. Help Protect At-Risk Children in – Order from MY Community Cafe. Donate. Feed a Future!

  7. Great Deals for a Great Cause at Global Gifts & Thrift! What a Perfect Combo!

  8. Register for Our Family Platinum Card Today!

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

  10. Helpline: Rent & Utilities Support Information for Clients

  11. MY Deah's Warehouse Donation Bins Locations


MY Project USA's Annual Banquet:

Putting His Future into Focus: MY Project USA Empowers Young Photographer to Explore Potential Career

Join Us at Our Annual Banquet to Hear More Empowering Stories

MY Project USA exists to protect and empower young people, and a good example of that empowerment can be found in Abdi Bakari.

Bakari has been a part of our programming since 2016. He started in our middle school program at the Wedgewood Middle School. In December 2018, he dealt with the loss of his older brother to gun violence. He immediately stepped up to take care of his mother and siblings, and we helped him doing so. He was put on a stipend youth leader program. He became a youth leader in our summer program and worked as an aide for MY Reading Warriors. In 2022, he took care of MY Soup Kitchen and worked as a summer program aide and went through more training. He is now a 20-year-old helping as an admin of the Hilltop Tigers soccer club and looking ahead to his future as a professional photographer.

When asked about a potential career, he expressed interest in becoming a photographer. We are now helping him become one. We purchased him a new professional Canon camera. All of the great photos we have posted of our Tigers in recent weeks have come from him. We plan to send him to further trainings and shadowing opportunities. 

This is why it is so important for MY Project USA to continue its mission to further empower more young men and young women. There are many “hidden gems” like Bakari that would never get a chance to explore creative careers without MY Project USA.

At our ninth annual banquet – “Narratives of Resilience” – Bakari and other young adults like him will share their stories of resilience and hope with the audience. The proceeds of this event will fund help in empowering them and others more. The proceeds will also go to Issa Jeylani Recreation Center and MY Soup Kitchen to feed the needy kids in the neighborhood.

Please order your tickets today via the button below.

Are you a business owner looking for a way to help underserved communities in Columbus? Consider becoming a sponsor of our Annual Banquet!

Please contact Taq Aziz at (614) 905-0977 or dir.outreach@myprojectusa.org with any questions.


MY Project USA's Annual Banquet:

TODAY is the Final Day! Nominations Due for Annual Deah Barakat & Chrys Gee Awards

Deadline for Nominations is 8 p.m.

Learn more about each award and nominate someone by clicking the button below. All nominations must be submitted by 8 p.m. TODAY.


MY Project USA:

Honorable Khizr Khan Tours MY Project USA, Visits MY Family Pantry

Thank you to legendary Khizr Khan for visiting the Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center to take a tour of the MY Project USA offices and our MY Family Pantry on Saturday.

Khizr Khan is a Gold Star parent of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed while saving the lives of several soldiers of his camp and members of the local Muslim community. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor.

Khizr Khan has recently served as a Commissioner of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

More recently he was awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2023, the highest civilian award of United States of America. In addition to his law practice in Washington and New York, first with two major U.S. law firms and later in private practice, with focus on Complex Civil Litigation, he teaches CLE courses to lawyers and other professionals.

He was kind enough to speak to several of our youth and left them inspired to get involved in civic and social services. 

We thank Khizr for his support of our mission!


Hilltop Tigers:

Fun with New Friends: Hilltop Tigers Enjoy Scrimmages with Grandview Squad

Our Hilltop Tigers youth soccer program is starting to conclude its fall season, and for some of our Tigers, this season has included a pair of scrimmages with our new friends from Grandview FC.

Tigers coach Ali Jeylani and coach Logan Phillips of Grandview FC used to schedule games pitting their Under-12 teams against each other in previous seasons. This fall, it was too difficult to find dates that worked for competitive matches. Instead, Phillips invited our young Tigers to Grandview for scrimmages and fun with new friends. We thank Phillips for his hospitality and wish him and his team all the success moving forward.

In other Tigers news, with the fall season coming to a close, we look ahead to the indoor soccer season. Indoor practices start soon, and we look forward to showing you all of the fun!

MY Project USA is proud of all of our Hilltop Tigers for their work on and off the pitch. As always, we’d like to thank the hard-working young men who coach our young people – Ali Jeylani, Mohamed Ahmed, Abdi Idris, Bashir Ahmed, Abdullahi Jeylani, Abdullahi Daud, Sharmarke Abdi & Mukumbira Mukumbira. They are wonderful role models for our Tigers, and we thank each and every one of them for their passion for working with our young people.

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.


MY Family Pantry:

Thousands Visit MY Family Pantry Last Week; More Than 700 People Served Last Saturday

An average of 550 people visited the Mid-Ohio Market at MY Project USA powered by MY Family Pantry per day between Tuesday, Oct. 10-Saturday, Oct. 14. Among those four-day totals, 702 people visited the pantry on Saturday. 

We thank our wonderful team members and volunteers who helped serve 2,201 individuals and 564 families last week. Each person received healthy and nutritious food and household necessities. Thank you to our valued partners at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.

Thank you to MY Family Pantry Director Ramy El-Assal and his entire team from Ohio State (Michael Abou-Elias, Rahaf Shalash, Noora Rajjoub, Elsa Wani, Stella Aboshahba, Nawal Abdinur and Chai Annamreddi) and other volunteers for helping on Saturdays. We also want to recognize MY Project USA team members Ezatullah Momand and Jajuan Parker for their efforts in making the pantry a success.

Thanks to their efforts, we distribute fresh produce and groceries to hundreds of individuals in our community weekly. Our pantry is open on Tuesdays (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), Wednesdays (3-7 p.m.), Thursdays (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m.-2 p.m.).


MY Community Cafe:

Help Protect At-Risk Children in Columbus – Order from MY Community Cafe. Donate. Feed a Future!

We know that hungry children are easy prey, especially in the Hilltop – an urban area on the west side of Columbus that lacks places to buy affordable, high-quality fresh food. A warm meal could give leverage to drug dealers, pimps or any criminal looking to entice a hungry child into committing crimes or trap them in human trafficking. That is why we started food distribution as soon as we embarked on our journey of protecting our youth.

MY Project USA began MY Iftar Kitchen in Ramadan 2015, when we packed hot meals each day in the homes of community members and distributed those meals door-to-door in Wedgewood. A year later, with the help of Sister Dorothy Hassan, we partnered with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and kicked off the work of MY Family Pantry that Thanksgiving weekend.

Those projects continue, and in March 2023 we added MY Community Cafe – our latest initiative to address food insecurity in the Hilltop. It is a pay-forward cafe with all proceeds going to help MY Project USA feed all children, elderly, homeless and other clients on the west side of Columbus. Located at the Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center at 3275 Sullivant Ave., this cafe serves delicious Middle Eastern & Pakistani sandwiches, wraps, platters and more. 

The hard work to provide an oasis in this food desert continues, but we need your help. Your donations will help us continue to protect and empower vulnerable youth.

Order. Donate. Feed a Future!

📍Address: 3275 Sullivant Ave. Columbus, OH 43204 (at the Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center)


Global Gifts & Thrift:

Great Deals for a Great Cause! What a Perfect Combo!

We know you love great deals. You also love to support a good cause!

You can combine both of these with a trip to Global Gift & Thrift in Hilliard, where you can find some unique and perfect gifts for any occasion. If you have not been to Global Gifts & Thrift yet, now is the perfect time!

We proudly offer an international, multicultural collection of gifts, artifacts, decorative items, clothing, shoes, household items and more. We've got a great selection of shoes and bags, and what mother does not love that?!

Each dollar spent at Global Gifts & Thrift helps MY Project USA feed, clothe, employ and empower underprivileged youth and their families, refugees, unemployed and homeless people. It helps us address gang/gun violence and human trafficking. It helps us foster strong girls and women leaders.

Shop. Donate. Build a Life!

📍Address: 4730 Cemetery Rd. Hilliard, OH 43026 (next to the BMV)


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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