Even while fasting in observance of Ramadan, Noran Abueisheh wants to make sure others don't go hungry.
Abueisheh, 15, was one of more than 130 Oklahoma Muslims to volunteer Saturday at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Observant Muslims abstain from food, drink and sensual pleasures from dawn to sunset during the month, which commemorates the divine revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. The holy month ends Aug. 8
Abueisheh, a Westmoore High School student, was bagging rice from a huge box into individual packets. She said it felt good to get out and serve her community.
“It's very cool to be out here together,” she said. “We know it's important for us as a faith to get out and give back and so this feels nice.”
Volunteering at the food bank was the kickoff event to a new campaign from the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to take part in activities that will enhance the quality of life for fellow Oklahomans.
The Oklahoma Muslims Care campaign is designed to coordinate volunteer opportunities for Oklahoma Muslims so they can show their pride in their state through giving back.
The group busied themselves stacking boxes of apple sauce and other boxed goods in addition to the rice Abueisheh and the other girls were bagging.
The facility provides enough food to feed 90,000 Oklahomans each week, said Dennis Hollenback, the volunteer coordinator for the Regional Food Bank.
“More than 675,000 people wonder where their next meal is coming from,” he said. “It's important to have all the volunteers we can to help, and it's great to see so many young people here to help with that.”
Othman Ghanma, 16, said he was proud to be there with members of his faith and to be giving back to help feed others.
“We saw a need,” he said. “We just want to help.”