Muslim-owned Non-profit Donates 5,000 Pizza Slices to NYC Homeless
Muslim-owned eyeBLINK’s week-long Pizza for the Homeless project feeds 2,000 New Yorkers. Nonprofit multicultural arts company, eyeBLINK, has caused a stir in New York City by donating 75 large pizzas per day to NYC shelters.
This innovative project ran from June 18 – June 22. Instrumental musicians provided live music while the pizza was served in the shelters. This created a pizza party and a special moment for those that don’t have too many special moments.
“The over-arching idea was to show that you can have one good thought, regardless of where it originates, and, because humanity is basically good, people will jump on the bandwagon and that same good thought will become a firestorm of good,” said Qurrat Ann Kadwani, eyeBLINK’s artistic director. “Even a dollar does make a difference.”
Pizza Hut came onboard as the grand pizza sponsor for this humanitarian initiative. They donated a free fullhouse pizza for every pizza that eyeBLINK has purchased from them.
eyeBLINK donated pizza to a different shelter each day:
• Monday, June, 18th, 5 pm – 7 pm: The Partnership for the Homeless/Peter’s Place, 123 W. 23rd street, NYC
• Tuesday, June 19th, 11:30 am – 2 pm: Bowery Mission, 227 Bowery, NYC
• Wednesday, June 20th, 10: 30 am – 1 pm: Bread and Life, 75 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn
• Thursday, June 21st, 11 AM – 1:30 pm: Love Gospel Kitchen, 2323 Grand Concourse, Bronx
• Friday, June 22nd, 5:30 – 6:30 pm: NY Rescue Mission, 90 Lafayette St., NYC
The project was spearheaded by eyeBLINK’s Business Manager, Obaid Kadwani. Obaid is a South Asian celebrity, known to millions of South Asians across America for hosting a national TV show about Bollywood called Namaste America as well as live emceeing work and for his funny commercials.
“We come from a culture of service,” said Obaid. “Charity is a part of our religion. There is so much hate in the world today and we wanted to help make the world a better place. People of all religions, races, nationalities and ages have joined us to make this project a success.”
Yemi Oyaname, nutritionist and manager of St. John’s Bread and Life, said that eyeBLINK had done something never done before, “In 27 years of existence, nobody has ever thrown a pizza party for our guests. People were dancing, clapping, and everyone was so excited. Having the live music was just amazing.”
Reverend Steve Sele of Love Gospel Kitchen in the Bronx echoed her sentiments. “This is so different for us. eyeBLINK and its donors are spreading so much love. We want eyeBLINK to come back every year. Just look around at all these happy faces. This means so much to them.”
There were so many heart-warming stories with this project. Professional photograher Richard Law, who had volunteered to take pictures at the Bowery Mission, revealed that he had gotten his start in the late 70s taking pictures in the same mission.
“Steve”, who insisted on volunteering to help serve the pizza in Love Gospel Kitchen, shared that 15 years ago, he was one of the people helped by the soup kitchen free meals.
Swoan Parker, who volunteered to take pictures at Love Gospel Kitchen, was seen fighting back tears. A woman had told her that she would skip her meal so that she could take the pizza back to her sick husband who hadn’t eaten all day, even though she herself had not eaten all day either. Thanks to the plentiful pizza provided by eyeBLINK and its donors, the woman was able to eat and take some pizza back for her ailing husband.
“eyeBLINK has helped pick up our spirits too,” said Stacy Landau, Volunteer Manager of the Bowery Mission. “We are here everyday fighting the good fight and companies like eyeBLINK remind us that we are not alone.”
Obaid Kadwani promised that this would become an annual project and would increase in scope every year. “Our goal is to make this a national project as soon as possible. This years donors have shown us their commitment. The shelters and kitchen have shown us the need. However, we need everyone to send us contributions now. Corporations decide to sponsor us when we show them that we have raised funds. We will need a lot more funds to make this national. So please go to eyeBLINK’s website and send money for the Pizzas for the Homeless. Make the world a happier place.”
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Agency / Source: eyeBLINK