Receive our most important stories in your inbox every morning.
Over two dozen volunteers, including San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, came out to the Ismaili Jamatkhana located on the North Side of San Antonio between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to help unload donations from vehicles as community members drove through.
With the goal of donating about 15 pallets of food and hygiene products to the San Antonio Food Bank and at least 2,500 masks to the City of San Antonio, San Antonio’s Ismaili community put the event together in two weeks, said volunteer Waheeda Kara.
A sub-sect of Shia Islam, Ismaili’s are a community of ethnically and culturally diverse Muslims who live in over 25 countries around the world, Kara said. San Antonio’s Ismaili community consists of a few thousand members, she added.
Sugarland-resident Irfan Ali, honorary secretary of the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States, said the event represented a big part of the group’s faith.
“Part of our faith is putting our ethics into action during a crisis, so we wanted to bring together the [San Antonio] community and our resources to make a difference,” Ali said.
Kara said as a supporter of Compassionate SA, a grassroots interfaith movement to help San Antonio’s most at-risk communities, partnering with them for the event seemed obvious. Kara also invited the Interfaith San Antonio Alliance to participate, with several members coming out to volunteer.
The event was a good chance for members of all faiths to come together to help support San Antonians in need, said ISAA volunteer Wyndee Holbrook. Holbrook said San Antonio Ismailis, and especially Kara, have been a big help in collecting masks for San Antonio’s most at-risk communities, such as the city’s homeless and elderly populations.
Wearing a Frida Kahlo face mask, Nirenberg said he appreciates the ISAA for its help getting over 1,600 masks out to members of the San Antonio community.
Local news is at the heart of democracy.
Our newsroom works on your behalf to hold officials accountable. But we can't do it alone. We rely on membership donations from readers to support our fact-based reporting. Will you join us and donate now?
Every day brings new developments and decisions by government and public health leaders to control the local coronavirus outbreak. We strive to be a trustworthy news source for all in the community–especially during this tumultuous time.
You rely on us for credible reporting, and we rely on readers like you to support our nonprofit newsroom. Can we count on you?
Our reporters are risking a lot to be on the streets chronicling this unprecedented crisis and its impact on our health care systems, local economy, and daily lives. We've been asking our readers to show support for this important public service by making a monthly donation or a one-time gift in whatever amount you can afford.
These donations are helping offset the loss of advertising revenue we normally rely on from local businesses. Can we count on you?
“I wanted to thank the Ismaili community for their efforts to make sure the people of San Antonio are protected,” Nirenberg said.
For San Antonio to slow the spread of coronavirus, members of all faiths have to come together, Holbrook said. She commended Kara on her ability to reach out to members of all local communities.
Kara was happy with the turnout Saturday and said she raised awareness for the event by posting about it on social media, by reaching out to local homeowners associations, and through her connections throughout the city.
“It’s been beautiful to see members of all communities coming together,” she said.
The Ismaili community surpassed its goal and donated more than 20 pallets of food to the SAFB, along with the 2,500 masks to the City, Kara said.