Kansas Muslims Donate 150 Thanksgiving Dinners to the Needy

Thanks to a partnership between the Topeka Islamic Center and the non-profit “Let’s Help,” the needy and homeless in Kansas City will have a chance to mark Thanksgiving with a turkey meal on the table, WIBW reported.

For the sixth year in a row, the Islamic center is contributing to the act of putting smiles on people’s faces, wishing the community a happy holiday season.

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“We see the people smiling and happy, so we feel good,” Rehan Reza, president of the Islamic Center of Topeka, said.

“They’re going to have a nice meal with their family.”

In the sixth annual turkey giveaway, members of the Islamic Center passed out around 150 thanksgiving dinners to families in need.

They spent Saturday morning handing out meal kits complete with a turkey, box of stuffing, and cans of green beans and corn to families in need.

“We wouldn’t be able to do this, in this magnitude, if we didn’t have partners like this,” Jennifer Loeffler, executive director of Let’s Help, said.

Thanksgiving is a celebration observed on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and the second Monday of October in Canada. The celebration is about giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

Though it started as a Christian tradition, the current form of celebration is a cultural holiday observed by people of all faiths.

As one of the five pillars of Islam, Zakat or ritual charity is a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth. It’s a mandatory charitable contribution, the right of the poor to find relief from the rich, and is considered to be tax or obligatory alms.

In addition to the obligatory Zakah, Islamic Shari’ah also encourages giving in optional charity, called Sadaqah.