Relief group helping Pakistan flood victims

August 25, 2010 4:49:04 AM PDT
Relief efforts are under way in the Chicago area to help flood victims in Pakistan. Collection sites have been set up for those who can contribute.

The president of Pakistan recently said that it could take years for his country to recover. The catastrophe will have major and lasting economic impact.

The flood victims are in need of help. Locally, Chicago mosques and a relief agency are providing help to those in need.

Since August 5, the relief organization Helping Hand USA has been actively collecting donations for aiding disaster stricken areas like Pakistan, where residents are in desperate need of basic items and necessities. People have been donating blankets, sleeping bags, clothing medicine and much more.

Helping Hand has been collecting and packing the items at a warehouse in Westchester. Last week truck loads left for Pakistan. This week more will follow.

"The purpose is to aid the Pakistan victim," said Hammed Hussain, Helping Hand USA. "For this last two and half weeks we raised $250,000 from this Greater Chicago Area. In the next five to six weeks we will ship every week from Chicago containers."

Mushtag Saleemi says they are also providing shelter to those who have lost everything including their homes.

"We are trying to relieve the people because they have no food and no shelter. Millions of people have no house. It is very hard to live there," said Saleemi.

Volunteers pack the items in boxes each evening.

Helping Hand has their message out to the mosques in area. The Islamic Foundation in Villa Park is also providing help.

"We started to make our appeal to our members that help is needed," said Shaykh Aburrahman, Islamic Foundation religious leader. "This is the month of helping. People emptied out their homes and pantries to help the victims."

Brother Ishrat Rehman of Helping Hand USA Chicago's office is now in Pakistan. He talked to ABC 7 about the devastation, and what they are doing to help the flood victims and the millions of people impacted in some way.

Helping Hand offices throughout the United States, along with the nation's mosques, say they will continue to help as long as they are needed.

Helping Hand USA says a gift today will help them to respond to the flooding and other urgent needs in Pakistan. Winter is coming, and the people who lost their homes in the floods need blankets and warm clothing.


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