People of Humanitarian Day ~ Kiran Wali
A group of volunteers from the Islamic Center of Southern California were invited to attend Humanitarian Day in July of 2015. We were so inspired that day, being taught about how we needed to put our faith into action, and connect with other human beings and live in the service of our creator by serving all of His creations. I hadn’t really been shown an example of that before but the way the ILM foundation and the mission spoke to us really motivated us to want to do more.
Director of ILM Foundation Umar Hakim, told me after Humanitarian Day concluded to “convert one day into a life’s mission. Take this one moment in your life and keep building upon it whether it’s your passion for sharing, caring, take that one element and expand it until it turns into an everyday mission.”
His words really resonated with us and as winter approached that year we began thinking about our “unhoused” neighbors and how rough the cold-rainy weather would be for them. We started rallying our neighbors and colleagues to do donation drives to collect survival items to stay warm, dry, and clean; beanie caps, socks, weather resistant blankets, and packed them into about 100 or so backpacks; so we can hand deliver them on Skid Row from the back of my car. And thus LifeKit was born in December of 2015.
We continued to do donation drives and a lawyer approached us about filing our 501c3 for us. Fast forward 4 years later and we are consistently distributing hygiene items on a monthly basis in Koreatown, East Hollywood, and Skid Row and collaborate with a number of other outreach organizations to do assembly and distribution events. Our mission and team continues to expand and we even have a Pastor on our board of directors and do outreach with different religious organizations. However, it all started with Humanitarian Day and it is still our favorite day of the year.
Humanitarian Day’s mission to “Convert One Day into a Life’s Mission” inspire young leaders to take action, where there is no action. Kiran Wali not only took action; but she created an organization with its own product. This is one narrative, from the People of Humanitarian Day.