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In this newsletter: 

  1. Issa Jeylani Memorial Recreation Center One Step Closer
  2. Honored Guests to Help Cut Ribbon at MY Community Cafe Tomorrow
  3. Don't Forget to Register for Our 'Women on Fire' Event
  4. Interfaith Iftar Tickets Support MY Project USA's Efforts to Protect Children
  5. Help Us Make This a Happy Eid for Every Kid
  6. Teach Your Children to Share Their Blessings the Old Way
  7. Emotions Run High During 'Mental Health' Wedgewood Power Hours
  8. MY Project USA Providing Evening Save Space for Hilltop Tigers Players
  9. Issa Jeylani Memorial Recreation Center Fundraiser
  10. Helpline: Rent & Utilities Support Information for Clients
  11. MY Deah's Warehouse Donation Bins Locations
Youth Development: 

We Found The Land Issa Jeylani Memorial Recreation Center One Step Closer

The New Facility Will Have Two Soccer Fields, One Basketball Court & More

IJM Rec. Center Will Save Thousands of Children For Years To Come

Dear Family, 

All children have the right to a safe place to play…

Unfortunately, our beloved Issa Jeylani did not have that safe place and was brutally taken away from us on July 22, 2022. He was a 15-year-old Hilltop Tigers soccer champion who died due to gang and gun violence.

He was simply playing soccer in his neighborhood. 

We made a pledge after his death to open a new indoor facility as soon as possible, the Issa Jeylani Memorial Recreation Center, to provide a safe space for his friends, siblings and all other underserved, ignored children of the Hilltop who do not get any chance to use the current recreational spaces in the Hilltop and elsewhere. 

I am super excited to inform you that we have finally found a 2.1-acre piece of land on Sullivant Avenue to build that facility. Per the architects, engineers, drawings and professional consultation, we aim to build two full-size indoor soccer fields, a basketball court, offices, a cafeteria and classrooms here. 

The land purchase contract has been signed, and we are working on the financial side of it. The price of the parcel is $250,000. The estimated construction cost will be around $2 million. This is an early figure and we are still working on getting the full and final estimate. 

I have committed more of my personal time and have been knocking on all government, corporate and foundation doors that I can think of. MY Project USA Board members are also spending hours and hours to raise enough money for this and all other ongoing projects. 

We have made this a priority because we know this is the Field of Dreams for so many. For the last eight years, we have not been able to find any recreation location in the Hilltop area that could accommodate daily practices and games for only 150 children in our soccer and other programs during winter, nights and rainy days. Let alone, there are about 10,000 children at risk of gang and gun violence in the Hilltop area. This center will provide a safe haven to hundreds of them each year. This center will help us further Issa Jeyalni’s legacy by turning more boys and girls into athletes and professionals that will change the lives of so many and will uplift their own community. 

We are in the making of history and we ask you to join hands with us by donating toward the purchase of land and the construction of the Issa Jeylani Memorial Recreation Center. 

With your help, our Hilltop Tigers Soccer Club and other programs continue to provide our youth a safe and compelling alternative to gangs, guns, violence, drugs and human trafficking on the west side of Columbus. We will continue to empower them with education, nutritious food, counseling and other kinds of support.
Join our team. Help build their dreams. Please donate now. 

In Solidarity with Youth & Families, 

Zerqa Abid, 
Founder & Executive Director, 
MY Project USA

Food Insecurity & Social Enterprise: 

MY Community Cafe Grand Opening Tomorrow At 3 P.M.

Honored Guests to Help Cut Ribbon at MY Community Cafe

Order. Donate. Feed a Future.

We will have several special guests on hand for our ribbon cutting tomorrow including Ohio State Senator Hearcel F. Craig, Ohio State Minority Leader Allison Russo & Dave Dobos, Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano and Columbus City Councilmembers Nick Bankston and Rob Dorans. Please join us if you can!

Located at our Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center, MY Community Cafe 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 on many fronts!

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.

Women's Empowerment: 

Don't Forget to Register for Our 'Women on Fire' Event

Event to be Broadcast on Zoom & Facebook Live on Sunday

Join us for candid conversations about empowerment from women of different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds as they share their struggles and blessings on the road to success. Moderated by Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Sheryl K. Munson.

To maximize the participation of all sisters and brothers, this event will be online on Zoom & Facebook Live. With this event, we hope to create a space for an ongoing real conversation about what women empowerment truly means for sisters in real life. Join to learn and to contribute.

The event is free, but registration is required.

Our panel includes:

KATANA MULLEN – A Young Black Professional; Youth Program Director, MY Project USA
ZERQA ABID – A Pakistani American Business Owner & Activist; Founder &Executive Director of MY Project USA
AJMERI HOQUE – A Bangladeshi-American Attorney; Board Member of MY Project USA
BINISH HUSSAIN – A Pakistani-American House Wife Turned Professional; Life and Health Coach
SAFA MOHAMED – An Indian-American College Student; Board Member & Director of Reading Program of MY Project USA

Please register today!

Ramadan Happenings:

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

Your Ticket Supports MY Project USA's Efforts to Protect Children. 

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

Just like 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:

Help Us Make This a Happy Eid for Every Kid

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:

Teach Your Children to Share Their Blessings the Old Way

Sign up now to provide Iftar & Sahoor to local elderly and needy this Ramadan!

We need volunteers. 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 Iftar/Soup Kitchen

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

Wedgewood Power Hours:  

Emotions Run High During 'Mental Health' Wedgewood Power Hours

It was an emotional evening Friday, March 3, at the latest Wedgewood Community Power Hours event.

The subject was mental health, and there were plenty of emotions on display less than 24 hours after a shooting at the Wedgewood Village Apartment complex sent a 15-year-old boy to the hospital. With social workers Lauren Brademeyer and Haley Bertolini from the Columbus CARE Coalition skillfully leading the discussion, more than a dozen residents were in attendance and the majority of them expressed their feelings about the recent shooting.

Two brave children also took the opportunity to talk about their experiences living in Wedgewood. There were tears shed by many. Both social workers were moved by the words of the children. They are also scheduled to visit MY Project USA’s Rise after-school program at Eakin Elementary School on Mondays for six weeks. There they will be working with more children dealing with trauma.

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.

Youth Empowerment:  

MY Project USA Providing Evening Save Space for Hilltop Tigers Players

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays – days where the Tigers have been unable to find indoor practice space this winter – the children gather for evening programming put together by MY Project USA Youth Program Director Katana Mullen. They start the fun with dinner before starting some team-building activities. The group watches videos on subjects like teamwork, character, goals, commitment, unity and more. After the video, the group discusses the topic before taking part in some fun competitive activities. 

After the games, it's time to clean up and head home.

Thank you to Katana for running this program. We are proud to offer children in the Hilltop a safe place to be after school. An additional thanks goes to Hilltop Tigers coaches Ali Jeylani, Mohammed “Speedy” Ahmed & Abdi “Neymar” Idris for all that they do for these youngsters.

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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