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From The Executive Director's Desk:

The Almighty Brought Me To Columbus To Serve The Local Community I serve!!!

Protecting & Empowering The Most Neglected & At Risk Children Is A Dream Come True!

Running A Corruption Free, Fiscally Responsible and Radically Transparent Organization Is An Honor & A Privilege

Dear Community, 

Ramadan Kareem and Happy Easter to those who celebrate these occasions. May you have spiritually fulfilling time with your families and all your prayers and acts of service are accepted. 

In Islam there is a special prayer called Istikhara that Muslims make to ask guidance from God in making life changing decisions. In 2007, I made Istikhara prayers for 6 months and kept asking God to take me where He needed me the most. He answered and brought me to Columbus, Ohio.

God brought me to a state that is fourth in human trafficking and second in the opioid deaths. He brought me to a City that hosts the second largest Somali population in the US along with thousands of other refugees, residents and citizens from all over the Islamic World. This city has roughly a minimum of 25,000 Muslim children under the poverty line. The Hilltop area where we are currently stationed has around 10,000 children under poverty line or at risk of drugs, gangs and violence. About 40% of Columbus' sex trafficking and drug deals happen in this neighborhood. 

In 2014, after making Istikhara prayers and begging other Muslim agencies to do something about the situation, I launched MY Project USA to protect and empower our youth and their families. 

It has been a blessed journey. My main goal as the founder and inaugural Executive Director (volunteer) has been building this organization with sincerity, compassion and true desire of earning rewards from Allah by serving the community. Transparency, fiscal responsibility, corruption free inclusive workplace and professionalism are the main pillars of this organization that has served more than 180,000 clients so far. We are Ohio's largest Muslim social services organization now. Glory be to God.     

Last year, we spent about a million dollars to serve 40,000 clients and creating a safe space for children on Sullivant Ave. We were able to protect and empower hundreds of kids and their families through various services. We had 150 high-risk children in our soccer and tutoring programs. This year, we are expanding our weekly youth programs to 300 youth. This would be in addition to all other wrap around services. We would need at least 1.6 million dollars to do it the right way. We have applied for many grants and have been waiting for months to hear back from Franklin County and other offices. In addition to those grants, we must raise at least $350,000 from the community to sustain and grow our programs. 

This is where I need your help. I can't do it without you. I need your help in securing these very much needed funds so we can continue saving and empowering these beautiful, talented young minds and their resilient, hard working families. 

In this blessed time, please keep us in your list of charities and share our story with others too. Please check out all other Ramadan activities that you can participate regardless of your faith and ethnic background. Do attend the iftar dinner if you can. Together we can make a better world for everyone. May Allah SWT put more barakah (blessings) in our projects, ameen

In solidarity with youth and their families, 

Zerqa Abid,

Founder & Executive Director


Help Us Empower Children In Your Own Backyard

Iftar Event Invite

8th Annual Interfaith Ramadan Iftar Dinner 2022

Only Last Few Seats Available - Register Online Now

This Ramadan, 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 in person 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.

MY Iftar Kitchen 2022

We Can Feed People On Your Behalf For $10/Meal

Iftar Meal - will include dates, baked chicken, rice, vegetables and dessert enough for two people.

Join us again in this humbling experience. We need volunteers to 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!

We ask you to help with cooked/purchased food and packing it. Donors are welcome to send their gifts here or on our website.

Let It Be A Happy Eid For Every Kid!!!

Our Eid Toys Drive sign ups are live now. You can bring ready to pass toys or donate so we can purchase the toys/gifts on your behalf.  Check our signs ups on our website.

MY Project USA Fits 6 out of 8 Criteria of Zakat

MY Project USA is a nonprofit, 501 (C) 3 organization. We serve local refugees, orphans, slaves, victims of abuse, and other needy and poor neighbors in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio area. We are Zakat eligible since it falls into six of the eight categories of Zakat as commanded by Allah SWT in the following verse of Quran:

"Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler - an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise. (Quran 9:60)"

The first and second category of “for poor and for the needy” applies since we are helping poor local and refugee Muslim families.

The fourth category of "bringing hearts together" applies since we serve all needy people regardless of their faith, ethnicity or race. We also work with individuals that are attracted to Islam and Muslims and prefer working with us to learn more.

The fifth category “freeing captives” applies since we are addressing human trafficking, the modern day slavery, prevention and intervention. We are specially focusing on freeing sex-slaves from their masters and then helping them in reestablishing their lives.

The sixth category of "paying the debt" applies since we take care of families, single moms and family violence victims dealing with debts and financial instability.

The seventh category “the cause of Allah” applies because we are protecting and empowering Muslim youth and families in America. Through our work we are addressing drugs, gangs, violence, suicides, radicalization, homelessness, and hunger through capacity building of the individuals and the community. Through the documentation and publicity of our work we seek to address Islamophobia as well. Our goal is to preserve Islam and Muslim community in America at its best.

According to the majority scholars, Zakat can be given to those who volunteer to fight in the cause of Allah (SWT) and do not receive a fixed salary from the government. This also applies to the operational cost/salaries of a non-profit organization like ours that fits the other categories of zakat eligibility. Of course people can also donate their sadaqa or general donations for this cause as well.

Zakat Al-Fitr Pantry Will Be Held on April 30th

We Aim To Serve 400 Local Families This Year

Did you know that with a $10-Zakat-Al-fitr you give us we can get:

1- One 25 pound bag of flour

2- Five 16oz packs of spaghetti

3- Ten 2 pound bags of rice

4- Two 48oz bottles of oil

5- Four 14.5oz cans of diced tomatoes

This cart is worth around $40 on the cheaper end of the market. Thus, with one individual’s zakat, you’re feeding a whole family for a while. In addition to this we will also add fresh produce and more to it. So if you were debating whether or not to spend your zakat al-fitr with us, here’s your reason!

We will be taking Zakat al-fitr money for 300 individuals only so please hurry and pay your zakat alfitr. Jazakum Allah kheir!

CML Distributes Chromebooks for Free at MYPUSA

The Columbus Metropolitan Library organized a free Chromebook and hotspot distribution at our Youth Empowerment Center on Wednesday, March 23. Through this partnership, MY Project USA was able to ensure that over 150 families received PCs and a connection to the internet. When many of our families might be struggling to make sure their children all have adequate time to access their school lessons, having an additional Chromebook at home makes a world of difference. We are thankful to the library for choosing our center as a distribution point for the residents of the Hilltop.

Hilltop Tigers Recruitment

We Are Proud Partners of SWACO & The City of Columbus

The City of Columbus and SWACO are partnering in the Hilltop on the Recycle Right program, encouraging families and residents to recycle using the city’s blue residential recycling container for biweekly collection. MY Project USA is currently recruiting volunteer and paid program ambassadors to assist in targeted educational outreach to Hilltop households on how to recycle correctly and how recycling benefits our community.

Hilltop Sustainability Program Job opening

Weekly Update on our Partnership with Mid-Ohio Foodbank

Shipments of produce have been increased, providing additional access to fresh and healthy food for our community

During the past market week, our market provided fresh produce and dry goods to 697 members of our community. Two featured volunteers this week are Stella Aboshahba and Nawal Abdinur, who are pictured bagging mangoes for our clients. Like many of our volunteers, Stella and Nawal are students at The Ohio State University and are long-standing members of our pantry team. The pair also often staff our registration desk where clients are processed before entering the market. We thank them for their continued dedication to their community. Mid-Ohio Market at My Project USA is where it is today thanks to volunteers like them!

Rewind one year and you’ll find that produce bagging used to be at minimum a two-hour undertaking with dozens of volunteers. Now with the help of our expanded and wonderful paid staff along with many systemic and equipment improvements, the day-of process has been significantly streamlined. Our market manager Neymar has been a key part of this change and is a familiar and friendly face on market days. 

Ramadan is fast approaching as are our yearly special items! Mid-Ohio has increased our allocation of fresh produce from six pallets weekly to eight, ensuring that members of our community can access an even larger variety of fruits and vegetables.

This past week’s menu retained many of the selections from the previous week, again featuring items such as pineapples, apples, potatoes, baby food, pancake mix, and much more.

Total Individuals: 697
Total Families: 137
New Families: 18
Children: 281
Adults: 361
Seniors: 55

Youth Programs
Hilltop Tigers is a Movement

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MY Project USA
3275 Sullivant Ave | Columbus, Ohio  43204
614-905-0977 |

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