Reflecting on 2016, the year brought great highlights for TMWF, as well as difficult and sad times. My prayers are that 2017 and the coming years bring peace, goodwill, and compassion to all.
We continued to have our doors open to all our brothers and sisters, from all faiths and communities, from all over the country, and even from across the oceans. Victims of domestic violence (DV) with unique cultural and spiritual needs found an oasis of peace in our services and our compassionate, dedicated, and committed counselors, case managers, and attorneys. Victims moved out of the trauma and abyss of DV abuse, into a hope filled independent state, standing firm on their own two feet, working, learning, and knowing how to provide for themselves and their children. Our qualified counselors helped children who had experienced or witnessed the trauma of abuse to transition from a constant state of fear, anxiety, anger, and destructive tendencies to a calm, cooperative and more receptive state, open to healing, growth, learning and cooperation.
Our caring staff, generous community, and partnering organizations ensured that the needy and DV victims received shelter, housing, food, clothing, backpacks, furniture, cars, financial education, scholarships for continuing education, and most importantly the confidence to recognize their own worth.
A huge salute to TMWF’s generous, compassionate partner organizations and individuals. TMWF received grants from the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Harold Simmons Foundation, Liberty Mutual, Catchafire, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, City of McKinney, City of Frisco, City of Plano, City of Richardson, Texas Department of Health and Human Services, the Criminal Justice Division of the Texas Office of the Governor, US Dept. Health and Human Services-Family and Youth Services Bureau.
We partnered with New Hope Ministries (to furnish clients’ apartments), North Texas Food Bank, Hope Supply Co., Baitulmaal, ICNA, ICNA Sisters’, local mosques, (including IACC, IAC, MIA, EPIC, IANT, ICI, and ICA, which provided toiletries, diapers, cleaning supplies, clothing, and financial aid), Bank of America and BB&T’s compassionate staff (providing financial literacy training for clients), Tabani Family Foundation (providing transitional housing), Qaiser Jahan Najmi Memorial Fund, The WAQF Group (providing rent and help where it is most needed), and Rasheed Family Foundation (providing scholarships in the health profession).
Our financials have been audited annually by an outside agency since 2009, with minimal to no recommendations, and thus indicating their stamp of approval of our financial practices. Such positive audits highlight our meticulous financial maintenance and transparency.
Along with our celebration of our cumulative successes we also experienced tremendous heart aches with the huge tragedies in the loss of three wonderful ladies in our community to domestic abuse. These tragedies increased our educational efforts to raise awareness about DV. Again, we reached out to our wonderful imams during our two annual awareness campaigns which take place during the month of Ramadan (this year in June) and during October, the National DV Awareness Month. Imams devoted many khutbahs (sermons) and provided resources for services during those campaigns as well as throughout the year. Not only did local imams participate, but Imams who had partnered with TMWF in the past, but now reside in different cities or states, also participated in this effort to educate our communities about peaceful relationships in the home and within the community at large.
Other highlights included:
• Engaged the youth in DV awareness through many speaking engagements with CCCFV, MAS, PHI Alpha Gamma, SMU MSA
• Attended or spoke at national conferences/workshops: NNEDV in Atlanta, United States of Women’s Conference in Washington, DC
Outreach and Education
• Interfaith efforts in the 2nd Community at Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, First United Methodist Church in Plano, and the Faith Club
• Educational speakers at our Ladies Only Monthly Luncheons and Radio Azad
• Youth hosting their own topics on Radio Azad
• The Islamic Arts Revival Series 5th Annual Juried International Exhibition of Islamic Art at Irving Arts Center and the awesome group of artists and speakers who participated
Since the beginning of the TMWF Youth Leadership Program in 2007, over 500 youth have shown great leadership and community service. The Youth Program is preparing the future generation of committed civically and socially engaged leaders, which is made evident in this testimonial from our youth alum, Hanan Hassan:
“I used to volunteer with TMWF in high school. In the beginning, it started as an organized way for me to gain community service hours for my extracurricular activity commitments, such as the National Honors Society. However, over time I began to form friendships with the other members of the youth group, saw mentorship in the TMWF leaders, and gained knowledge in a variety of areas that would be beneficial in the years to come. I learned about various societal issues (i.e. homelessness, unemployment, domestic violence, and mental health) and how they impact my neighbors, brothers and sisters in Islam, and the greater population. I learned about team building, community partnerships, and interfaith collaboration for the purpose of combating these issues. I learned about what it means to give up my time to help those in need and rewarding it can be. I learned that regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, gender, or situation, we are equal and anyone may just need a hand at a certain point in life.
All of these teachings benefited me tremendously as I went on to college at Southern Methodist University. Throughout my undergraduate career, I served on the board of the Muslim Students Association, founded and served as president of the Habesha Collegiate Students Network, and co-founded and served as president of Women in Business at SMU. I also regularly volunteered at the I Have a Dream Foundation in Dallas. Volunteering in high school with TMWF, gave me the leadership skills necessary to do all of these things. It also made community engagement and giving back a regular accept of my life, something that no longer felt like a commitment. In May, I graduated with a master’s degree in accounting from SMU’s Cox School of Business. Today, I am living in New York, working for a Big Four accounting firm, in M&A transactions.”
We are thankful to you for helping us get this far in our services. We are extremely proud of the work that has been done and the accomplishments that have been made; the kind of work is stellar, and the impact on people’s lives is significant. Please continue your support and donations. TMWF is a unique organization that has given a voice to Muslim women and their families in all walks of life and through all venues. Every dollar you donate will be stretched to the maximum limit and will ensure that TMWF continues to be the “oasis of peace” for our community and society.
Thank you for being a #PeaceChampion. We look forward to your support in 2017.
Hind Jarrah, Ph.D.