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In this newsletter: 

  1. MY Community Cafe Opens On March 10th
  2. Early Bird Sale For 9th Annual Interfaith Iftar Event Starts Now - Save Up  To $300
  3. MY Eid Toys Drive: Your Chance To Brighten This Eid Day For A Local Muslim Child
  4. Women On Fire - A Candid Conversation About Women Empowerment - Register
  5. MY Iftar Kitchen Sign Ups 
  6. Wedgewood Residents Learn More About Their Tenant Rights
  7. MY Family Pantry Distributes More Than 25,000 Meals to Nearly 2,000 Clients
  8. Issa Jeylani Memorial Recreation Center Fundraiser
  9. Helpline: Rent & Utilities Support Information for Clients
  10. MY Deah's Warehouse Donation Bins Locations
Social Enterprise & Food Insecurity: 

Hungry Children Are Easy Prey for Pimps & Drug Dealers!

At MY Community Cafe You Can Enjoy Kabobs & Gyros While Protecting & Empowering Our Youth & Families

Grand Opening of MY Community Cafe Is March 10 at 3 p.m.

Dear Family, 

In 2015, a human trafficking survivor shared her story at a conference. What struck me the most in her story was the fact that her neighbor was able to prey upon her because she was a hungry child. He took advantage of her hunger, brought her meals and drinks for seven days and got her hooked on heroin. She was only 13 years old. She was trafficked for 26 years and kept like an animal for 13 years during that time. 

That story shook me from to core of my body. I knew that 40% of Columbus' sex trafficking and drug deals happen on Sullivant Ave. south of Hague Ave in Hilltop, a neighborhood with thousands of children from different ethnic groups. I knew instantly that we must reduce the chances of children falling into the slavery of drug dealers and pimps by providing enough food to their families. That's why, I instantly started MY Family Pantry to provide raw food every week and MY Iftar Kitchen to pass out hot meals during Ramadan. That's why, no matter what, we feed the children in our programs as much as we can, even when we don't have money.

Most grants, including a $1.2 million grant from Ohio Department of Education, do not cover food for children. Some of the food provided by some agencies is also not enough and appetizing for older children. We end up spending a lot of money on pizza and other foods out of our pockets and from general donations, and it creates serious funding challenges for us. We also find halal food very expensive for the Muslim children in our programs.

It's been a struggle for years. This is why, I am so humbled and proud to announce the opening of MY Community Cafe at our Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center. It is a pay-forward cafe with all proceeds going to help MY Project USA feed and assist all children, elderly, homeless and other clients on the west side of Columbus. This will be a game-changer at so many fronts. 

Thanks to the support and partnership of Br. Shabbar Abbas of Tandoori Grill Restaurant and Apna Bazaar, we are ready to serve our community and clients at a new level. This cafe will contribute to the economy of the Hilltop area. It will serve amazing Middle-Eastern and Pakistani sandwiches, wraps, platters and more this Ramadan and beyond. We have a seating area for families to eat here. We are also prepared to cater for your Iftar and other parties.

Our Grand Opening is scheduled for Friday, March 10 at 3 p.m. at the Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center located at 3275 Sullivant Ave. in Columbus. Join us if you can. 

Order. Donate. Feed a Future!

In Solidarity with Youth & Families, 

Zerqa Abid, 

Founder & Executive Director, 

MY Project USA

Ramadan Happenings:

9th Annual Ramadan Interfaith Iftar Dinner & Fundraiser on Sunday, April 2nd

Save Up To $300 On Tickets Now - Early Bird Sales Ends on March 20th.

Our signature Ramadan event is being held on April 2nd. This event was sold out at the Dublin Recreation Center last year, therefore we are moving it to the Courtyard by Marriot Columbus West to add a few more seats for the event.

Just like the past years, we will continue celebrating our village and the youth and their families that we have fostered together over the years. We will also be raising money to support our initiatives that have helped us in protecting and empowering our youth. 

Please join us to celebrate our diversity, humanity, faiths and values that have built this amazing village of ours, by breaking the bread together and listening to phenomenal, inspiring speakers. 

Seats are limited. Please make sure to register your seats now and share with your families and friends as well. We are looking forward to seeing you at the dinner.


Table of 10: $700 ǀ Adult: $75 ǀ Student: $40 ǀ Child under 10: $10 ǀ Family Childcare: $25


Table of 10: $900 ǀ Adult: $100 ǀ Student: $50 ǀ Child under 10: $10 ǀ Family Childcare: $25

Add $20 to each Ticket Price at the door.

Ramadan Happenings:

MY Eid Toys Drive Aims To Collect 2,500 Toys & 750 Goody Bags

Your Can Brighten The Eid Day For A Muslim Child This Year

The Columbus Muslim community is going to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the marking of the end of Ramadan, in late April. It is a joyous occasion, but we have thousands of children within our refugee community who do not receive any gifts or toys on the Day of Eid. With your help, we can change that!

Our goal this year is to distribute at least 2,500 toys and gifts and 750 goody bags. Please sign up now and help us continue to make this a successful event. You can bring toys or donate money.

We have four drop of locations. Once sign up, you will need to bring wrapped gifts on April 15th. There are four drop off locations. You can pick a location near you.

After you sign up or donate, please share it with others!

Ramadan Happenings:

MY Iftar Kitchen Is Back For You To Provide Iftar & Sahoor (Meals) To Local Elderly & Needy This Ramadan - Sign Up Now

Great Opportuniy For Parents To Bring Th

You can either help bring cooked food or donate money so we can order food to feed the needy. What a better way to serve Allah by helping His less fortunate people? Please help any way you can. Any amount is greatly appreciated!

This year our aim is to feed 100-125 people a day during Ramadan, and this is not possible without your help and cooperation!

Sign-Up Links:

Link to donate money online: MYProjectUSA.org/Donors

Please designate your donation to MY Iftaar/Soup Kitchen

For Questions & Help: Call (614) 905-0977

Wedgewood Power Hours:  

Wedgewood Residents Learn More About Their Rights As Tenants from The Legal Aid Society of Columbus

The latest Wedgewood Community Power Hour event took place Feb. 24 with members of The Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC) on hand to advise residents of Wedgewood Village Apartments of their rights as tenants.

John Coming, staff attorney for the LASC, gave an informative presentation. He discussed several topics, including the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants, information about repairs and rent escrow and answered several questions from attendees.

The Legal Aid Society of Columbus was represented by Coming, fellow staff attorney Jesse Vogel and supervising attorney Melissa Lenz. We thank them for answering all of the questions from tenants.

Attendees also discussed the benefits of forming a residents' council, which is an ongoing project. We are excited to see the progress made in weeks, months and years to come at Wedgewood Village Apartments.

Wedgewood Community Power Hours are powered by a grant from Franklinton Development Association. We are grateful to the Wedgewood Administration for their support over the years.

Thank you to MY Project USA’s Sami Omerzai and Noorullah Khan Shinwari and Wedgewood Manager Hakima Cheik for organizing another successful event at Wedgewood.

MY Family Pantry Updates:  

More Than 25,000 Meals, Snacks & Other Supplies Distributed to Nearly 2,000 Clients Last Week at Mid-Ohio Collective Market at MY Project USA

MY Family Pantry distributed fruits, meat/poultry, snacks, pastries and household items for exactly 500 families and a little more than 1,800 individuals for the week of Feb. 20. 

We could not have done all this without all of our amazing volunteers. This last week we were happy to see a numerous amount of new client faces as well as new volunteers from all around Columbus. Thank you to all of those that make the pantry experience fast and smooth for our clients! 

The menu contained a large variety of fresh produce including watermelon, pineapple, cucumbers, tomatoes, oranges, spinach, salad mixes, carrots, peppers and onions. The menu also carried everyday items such as ground beef, chicken, flour, cheese and bread! There was also a variety of cupboard items including canned goods, crackers, peanut butter, snacks, juice and bottled water! The market also carried household necessities including wipes and feminine products. 


  • Total families served: 500
  • New families: 66
  • Total individuals: 1,816
  • Children: 748
  • Adults: 950
  • Seniors: 118

Mid-Ohio Market at MY Project USA is a collaborative initiative of MY Project USA and Mid-Ohio Food Collective powered by MY Family Pantry volunteers and staff. We distribute fresh produce and groceries to hundreds of individuals in our community every week.

We would like to thank everyone who came out to serve the community this weekend, and also our wonderful donors who make our many initiatives possible. We hope to see you all again soon!

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: 
8 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 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)

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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