24 May Soliciting Donations, To Whom and For What?
"Detachment from money is the surest path to allowing its flow into your life"
As discussed in prior webinars, I am soliciting donations to a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3), volunteer-only, non-partisan and non-religious public charity that I helped start a couple of years ago. This charity was created to support and provide for a highly discriminated against and under-served groups: Arab-Americans and others needing assistance.
The charity is called NAAP-Chicago, Inc. It stands for the Network of Arab-American Professionals. This is a community service organization and is not a professional association (hence, the tax-exempt designation after detailed IRS review).
Why is this important to me?
Who are Arab-Americans?
Arab-Americans are a very wide mix of people from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds. Arabs have come under fire by the media, politics and a long line of corrupt and brutal governments haven’t helped. Many have migrated throughout Europe and the United States to seek a better life and a safer environment. The documented history of Arabs in the United States goes back to 1875.
Currently, many underprivileged Arab-Americans are being brought in from Iraq and other war-torn regions and given little to nothing to survive on. Children are not properly prepared for Chicago’s winters nor are they given help in integrating with local schools through prep courses, educational necessities and so on. Mothers and widows are left to fend for themselves and their children without any marketable skills or a means of supporting themselves or their offspring. For example, NAAP-Chicago is proud to sponsor a program on the south side of the city where women are learning basic computer skills, professional sewing and other crafts that will help them become independent and self-reliant. A 70-year old woman who takes several buses for 2 hours each way every day to attend class has recently sent her first email after taking her first computer course and is being featured in a local magazine. She hardly knew what a computer is before she started. She was able to do this using generous donations like yours.
My charity seeks to leverage the resources of the community by accessing those who can give to donate their time, money and other resources to support these people. The charity’s membership is made up of Arab-American professionals who are normally scattered all over corporate America and have had no channel in the past to give back.
My charity is one of the first to unite this group to donate professional skills, time and resources to help others from their background even if they are far removed "generationally". If we do not provide these people with what they need to become self-sufficient, they will likely turn to crime and other means of survival. They will also burden an already-strained system of social services.
Do you know some famous Arab-Americans?
You absolutely do. Here are a few that might sound familiar or who are permanently engraved in American History:
- Steve Jobs – head of Apple Computers
- Joseph Abboud – Fashion Designer
- John J. Mack – CEO of Morgan Stanley
- Sam Maloof – Owner of Sacramento Kings and Palms Casino
- Paul Orfalea – Founder of Kinko’s
- Khalil Gibran – Author of the best-selling "The Prophet"
- Paula Abdul – Entertainer
- Rima Fakih – Miss USA 2010
- Jamie Farr – Actor
- Sammy Hagar – Singer Van Halen
- Salma Hayek – Actress
- Casey Kasem – Radio Host
- Tony Shalhoub – Actor
- Vince Vaughn – Actor (Lebanese ancestry)
- Frank Zappa – Entertainer
- Shakira – Entertainer
- Shannon Elizabeth – Actress
- Ralph Nader – Presidential Candidate
- Ray LaHood – Current Secretary of Transportation
- Major General Fred Safay who fought alongside General Patton or Brigadier General Elias Stevens who served under General Eisenhower
- George Joulwan – NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe
- General john Abizaid – Head of U.S. Central Command in Iraq
- Senator John Sununu – New Hampshire
- Donna Shalala – Longest serving Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Elias Corey – 1990 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry – Harvard Professor
- Elias Zerhouni – Director of the national Institutes of Health
- More can be found here
What does this charity do for these people?
The charity I am a part of focuses on gathering the resources of local professionals and building a network of people who will change the perspective that others have of Arab-Americans and will become a permanent contributor to help those in need. We seek to first network the members with each other and then to use the collective energy to serve Arabs and non-Arabs alike.
We have also participated and collaborated with other organizations that promote peace, education and empowerment of all. Organizations that we have served with:
- Hands of Peace –
Funds are currently needed to capacity building (we are in dire need of a good website) and further expansion of the organization. Funding is used to grow the organization and to support its mission. No salaries or other overhead expenses are paid for through donations.