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In this newsletter: 

  1. Support Our Youth as They Advocate for Their Futures at the Columbus Youth United Summit!

  2. Couldn't Make the Issa's Peace Patio Ribbon Cutting? Check Out This Recap Video

  3. Columbus Media Graciously Covers Issa's Peace Patio Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

  4. MY Summer Expedition Campers Enjoy STEM Week, Capped by a Trip to COSI

  5. Crew Host Hilltop Tigers During Community Day at Lower.com Field

  6. MY Leaders Get Creative During Recent Creative Arts Healing Session

  7. More Than 2,000 Clients Visit MY Family Pantry Last Week

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

  9. Don't Want to Cook Tonight? It's Time to Order from MY Community Cafe!

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

  11. Helpline: Rent & Utilities Support Information for Clients

  12. MY Deah's Warehouse Donation Bins Locations


Youth Development:

Support Our Youth as They Advocate for Their Futures!

The Columbus Youth United Summit is Saturday at West High School

Elected Officials & Representatives from the Ohio Environmental Council, Moms Demand Action & Students Demand Action (Ohio State Chapter) Will Join Us!

Make sure you register today to attend the Columbus Youth United Summit on Saturday at West High School from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. It’s free!

We are tentatively scheduled to be joined by several elected officials, including Ohio Senate Assistant Minority Leader Hearcel Craig and Ohio House Reps. Munira Abdullahi & Ismail Mohamed. Rep. Abdullahi will also host a breakout session during the summit, as will several MY Project USA team members, representatives from Moms Demand Action & the Ohio Environmental Council and Derrick Russell, author of the book "Listen Good, Youth."

People of all ages are invited to attend this youth-led event, which will focus on the life-and-death issues of climate justice and gun/gang violence. This event is FREE, but registration is required so MY Project USA can provide enough food for attendees. 

Thank you to the Ohio Climate Justice Fund, ADAMH Board of Franklin County and the City of Columbus for their support.


Issa's Peace Patio:

Couldn't Make the Ribbon Cutting? Check Out This Recap Video

We Were Honored to Host Issa's Family, Elected Officials & Dozens of Youth

If you could not join us Friday for the ribbon cutting for Issa's Peace Patio, we have the next best thing! MY Project USA has created this video to show some highlights of that emotional afternoon.

Listen to excerpts of speeches by MY Project USA Founder & Executive Director Zerqa Abid, Ohio State Senator Michele Reynolds, Ohio House Rep. Dontavius Jarrells and Issa's Peace Patio Project Manager Unasia Qidwai. We will have more videos from the ribbon cutting event in coming days.


MY Project USA in the News:

Columbus Media Graciously Covers Issa's Peace Patio Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

All 3 Local TV Stations Join Columbus Dispatch in Reporting on the Event

MY Project USA is thankful for the coverage of the ribbon cutting for Issa's Peace Patio from the local Columbus media. All three local television stations sent reporters, as did the Columbus Dispatch. We appreciate their efforts in helping keep Issa's memory alive.

We would like to thank Danae King of The Columbus Dispatch for her coverage of the ribbon cutting for Issa’s Peace Patio last Friday.

King wrote a story that includes an anecdote from MY Project USA Founder & Executive Director Zerqa Abid about how Issa Jeylani was the only Hilltop Tigers soccer player to make it to the ribbon cutting for the Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center in 2021.

"He cut the ribbon that day. Everything that happened after that, it's because of him," Abid told the Dispatch.  You can read about that in our previous newsletter.

The Dispatch report also included a quote from an interview with Issa's mother, who spoke through an interpreter – and MY Project USA social worker – Nacima Aden. Issa's mother expressed her appreciation for those who continue to work to keep Issa's memory alive.

"This shows me that there are a lot of people that care about Issa," she told the Dispatch. "I want every mother to hear this, and we want people to come around us and stand up for this because this gun violence is killing all our children, and mothers have had enough of it."

Isabel Cleary and NBC4 also attended the ribbon cutting and spoke to several MY Project USA team members.

“This is a place where (Issa’s) friends and other youth, they will sit, this is a place to relax, to learn to be together to be united against gun violence and gang violence,” MY Project USA Founder & Executive Director Zerqa Abid told NBC4.

We were fortunate to have Issa’s family members on hand to cut the ribbon at the patio, including Issa’s mother, aunt and brothers. One of his brothers is Ali Jeylani, a coach for our Hilltop Tigers.

“It means a lot to me,” Ali told NBC4. “It means a lot to the community. It means a lot to my family.”

Added Abid: “This was a very difficult year for us. We have come a long way. As we are smiling, we are hiding our tears. As we are smiling, we are reminding each other that we have to do it for Issa and we will do our very best.”

Carly D'Eon of 10TV did a report as well, speaking with Ali Jeylani after the ribbon cutting.

“He's up there in heaven smiling right now, so I think that he would love this idea that we're doing this for him,” Ali told 10TV.

Ali added that he hopes people will remember his younger brother and try to emulate his positive impact in the community by “doing it for Issa,” especially when people visit Issa’s Peace Patio.

"Being kind to others, being nice, and doing good things, just like Issa was. And they knew who Issa was so they can look up to him just like how he was to everybody else in the community,” Ali told 10TV.

Finally, Isabelle Hanson of ABC 6 also reported from the event. We thank her for her coverage.

“I feel really traumatized still and hurt, but at the same time, I don’t control guns,” Ali Jeylani told ABC6. “All I can say is stop the gun violence, but hopefully, it comes to an end, and the state or the president can do something about it.”

While there are things we all cannot control, Issa’s friends and family have strived to “do it for Issa” since his passing. Several people at the ribbon-cutting ceremony wore “Do It For Issa” armbands.

“When we say do it for Issa, we mean do good things for Issa, like become successful in life, and do it for him,” Issa’s friend and Hilltop Tiger player Sharmarke Abdi told ABC6. “We want him to be happy with us.”


Youth Development:

MY Summer Expedition Campers Enjoy STEM Week, Capped by a Trip to COSI

Series of Weekly Camps Concludes Next Week With Music & Dance Camp

This past week was our STEM week for our MY Summer Expedition campers, and it was another week full of fun, friends and for making great memories.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and all of those subjects took center stage during this camp, which was led by our friends from TechCorps. The week was full of hands-on activities, including allowing the campers to create their own hand-held video games that they created and could take home with them!

On Friday, the campers ended the week with another fun field trip. This week they went to COSI and enjoyed everything this Columbus mainstay has to offer.

MY Project USA also wants to thank our hard-working team, including Education Manager Jenna Herron; Education Consultant Dr. Sharon Watkins; Outreach Coordinator Felix Mijangos; Hilltop Tigers coaches Ali Jeylani, Mohamed "Speedy" Ahmed and "Neymar;" and everyone else who has taken the time to make these camps special for our youth.

The MY Summer Expedition series of camps will conclude Cooking & Nutrition Camp (July 24-28) and Music & Dance Camp (July 31-Aug. 4).

As always, thank you to the Ohio Department of Education and the City of Columbus for their support of our MY Summer Expedition camps.


Hilltop Tigers:

Crew Host Tigers During Community Day at Lower.com Field

 MY Project USA would like to thank the Columbus Crew for inviting our Hilltop Tigers to participate in their Pride & Glory Community Day event at Lower.com Field on Friday evening.

The event provided a special experience for our Tigers when they were permitted to participate in “Soccer Free Play on the Pitch,” where our youth could show off their skills on a real Major League Soccer field. It was a great moment for our kids and one that they will never forget.

Thank you again to the Crew, and we also want to thank MY Project USA Youth Program Director Katana Mullen and Hilltop Tigers coaches Mohamed "Speedy" Ahmed, Ali Jeylani, "Neymar,” Abdullahi “AB” Daud and Abdullahi “AJ” Jeylani for helping put together this special event for our Tigers. 

MY Leaders:

MY Leaders Get Creative During Recent Creative Arts Healing Session

Thank you to MY Project USA Board member Grace Johnson for leading another impressive creative arts healing session with members of our MY Leaders group.

Grace showed our youth how to use indigo to tie-dye T-shrits! It was great to see so much creativity on display, and it was great to get outdoors to work on this project. Thank you to MY Project USA Founder & Executive Director Zerqa Abid, MY Project Youth Program Director Katana Mullen, MY Project USA Assistant Youth Program Director Muna Cheik, Youth Leadership Trainer Kay Wilson and many other MY Project USA team members for their efforts in making the program a success.

The MY Leaders summer program has three focus areas: climate justice, guns/gang violence and substance abuse, as well as a girls' entrepreneurship portion. They will also participate in the Columbus Youth United Summit, which will be held Saturday, July 29 at West High School. Learn more & register to attend the summit here.

The MY Leaders program offers a valuable opportunity for exceptional young individuals within immigrant and refugee communities. It brings youth from different socio-economic and social backgrounds into one room to work together on a common cause. By providing financial support through a stipend and recognizing their efforts, this program aims to empower under-served individuals to continue making a positive difference in their communities.

Thank you to the City of Columbus, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Climate Justice Fund, the Women's Fund Of Central Ohio and the ADAMH Board of Franklin County for their support of our MY Leaders program.


MY Family Pantry:

More Than 2,000 Clients Visit MY Family Pantry Last Week

Clients Received Fresh & Frozen Fruit, Delicious Cereals, Bread & More

From Tuesday, July 18-Saturday, July 22, more than 2,000 clients were served at the Mid-Ohio Market at MY Project USA powered by MY Family Pantry.

A total of 2,081 clients visited the pantry last week, including 550 families. Among those, 87 of those families visited us for the first time. Each client received nutritious food and household necessities. The menu this week included fresh and frozen fruit, delicious cereals, bread and much more.

As always, thank you to our partners at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, who collaborate with MY Project USA for our pantry work.

Powered by MY Family Pantry volunteers and staff, we distribute fresh produce and groceries to hundreds of individuals in our community weekly.


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.


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


MY Community Cafe:

Don't Want to Cook Tonight? It's Time to Order from MY Community Cafe!

It's a Great Day NOT to Cook! Order Online at MYCommunity.Cafe!

Visit MYCommunity.Cafe and order your lunch or dinner today! Get great food and support MY Project USA's programs.

Order. Donate. Feed a Future!


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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