It was early February on the day of a snowstorm when I received a call at nearly 10 pm from a widowed Afghan woman. She called worried, saying her daughter had been vomiting all day and had a high fever. She said she didn’t own a thermometer or have the means to leave her 3 young children alone to get medicine. I suggested the woman give her daughter Pedialyte since she was vomiting. She asked ICNA Relief to help her get these items as soon as possible.

Because she usually sees me in the masjid, she thought I lived nearby. The problem was, I didn’t. I lived too far away to reach her safely during a snowstorm.

Coincidentally, she lived in the complex that houses many Syrian Refugees families whom I also work with. I WhatsApp-ed around seven Syrian refugees near her. I told them that this lady’s daughter is sick. One Syrian refugee said, “I have thermometer I can lend her.” Another Syrian refugee texted me back saying, “I have fever medication I can give her.” A third refugee brother told me, “I don’t have a car, but I can walk to the pharmacy for her. I’ll walk and get Pedialyte.” Still a fourth one said, “I will cook some food and bring it to her.”

One of them told me, “We always say salaam to her but we didn’t know she was a widow. From now on, we’ll take her everywhere we go. We will take her to get her groceries, too.”

SubhanAllah, it was extremely heartwarming to see refugees, one after the other, taking on the role of a responsible member in our community. All those car donations ICNA Relief supporters gave to our clients also helped. A Syrian brother, a recipient of a used car stated “I have a car, let me know how I can help.”

We no longer think it’s a coincidence that this woman was in need and refugees only happened to live close by. It’s not a coincidence that our brothers who want to help others, have also been helped – helped by donors like you.

We felt the love during the February 2017 Snowstorm. As snow fell, so did the good deeds; Allah’s mercy rained down upon this Afghan widow through Syrian refugees helped by you.

— Sr. Leila Elfane, Refugee Services Coordinator, NJ