By: Armaan Rajwany
The Shia Ismaili Muslim community, a religious group committed to community service, is hand-making and donating reusable fabric masks to civic and government organizations, and frontline workers.
The project through I-CERV (Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering), begins with a volunteer delivering fabric and supplies to another member’s doorstep. The member then uses the material to sew masks, and on a designated day, they collect them, leaving a fresh set of supplies.
The masks are then sanitized, packaged, and delivered to Memorial Healthcare System in Broward County. This process is repeated bi-weekly.
While these masks cannot be used by healthcare workers on the front-line assisting COVID-19 patients, the I-CERV initiative, who has volunteers living in Tamarac, Coral Springs, and Parkland, sew masks for the various other frontline individuals supporting the relief effort who work in the hospital system in Broward County.
Fahd Hoodbhoy, who leads the project in Florida, said, “I-CERV volunteers have already produced upwards of 7,000 masks to-date and are on pace to donate another 10,000. That’s potentially 17,000 lives we will have touched, and it is remarkable and truly humbling.”
Shortly after the CDC recommended Americans wear protective face coverings, I-CERV produced all of its masks solely through the service of the 40 volunteers for the initiative.
Service to others, both in times of crisis and normalcy, is the cornerstone of the Islamic faith. The Shia Ismaili Muslim Community in South Florida feels humbled to be able to play their part and practice the ethics of their faith by reducing the transmission of COVID-19 throughout South Florida.
I-CERV member Razia Pullen, who sews masks said, “This project helps me make a difference and contribute my service to society, as each mask reaches at least one frontline worker helping keep them and others safe.”
Armaan Rajwany, 16, is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He lives in Wyndham Lakes in Coral Springs.
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