The power of community

   

“Community is important because it reminds us that we are all the same, we are all connected, and none of us are alone.”

-Alice Millard, BRAC USA supporter-

   

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What does community mean to you?

We asked our supporters why they choose to be active in their communities to help others.

Alice Millard, Haute Hijab

New York, NY

Haute Hijab ran a three-day fundraiser to support Rohingya refugees.

“Community is important because it reminds us that we are all the same, we are all connected, and none of us are alone. In today’s digital, age it can be easy to feel invisible behind screens. Community helps us combat that and reconnect. I hope to see people view the world as a global community.”

Shayna Ferullo & Manuel Ainzuain, Snowy Owl Coffee

Brewster, MA

Snowy Owl Coffee donated the proceeds from sales of coffee grown in Myanmar to support Rohingya refugee families.

“Like many people I know, I am often very overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness when I read or listen to the news. I regularly seek outlets for how I can channel these feelings into action. Building a business centered around our local community has granted my partner, my colleagues, and I the opportunity to foster sincere connections among one another and with our customers. We have created a safe space for conversations, questions, and solutions to manifest organically, and this is perhaps our proudest accomplishment.

 

Because our coffee is not grown locally, and we do not see or know the people who shape what we drink every day, we also feel a need to communicate the realities of those who are part of the specialty coffee growing community. These realities are foreign, both in location and substance, but the purchasing choices we make affect them because of our globalized economies. That is the motivation for our mission — to connect our coffee-drinking community to the coffee-growing community.”

Shaikh Shams, Bangladeshi Community of Arizona

Phoenix, AZ

Shaikh Shams is a BRAC USA supporter and an active member of the Bangladeshi Community of Arizona.

“My community is everything to me. It gives me encouragement, hope, strength, and energy.”

Sonia Mahajan, High School Student

Oakland, CA

Sonia is spearheading a bake sale fundraiser at her high school to raise money for Rohingya families.

“Having a sense of community is so important. We learn a lot from each other. We go through ups and downs together and, no matter the hardship, we are there for one another. We learn how important it is to love, not hate. There is no better feeling than a community where love flows in all directions.

 

I believe community has no boundaries. I am Indian American (Bengali and Punjabi) and, when I traveled to India a couple of years ago, I visited a school for girls around my age in a village outside of New Delhi. Although I live thousands of miles away, I felt connected to them, and I related to their passions.

 

I think we often live in bubbles that are much smaller than we believe. It is important to branch out and understand the people around you. When communities come together, they become a part of something greater. I have seen this with non-profit organizations: they inspire people to look internally to better themselves, to engage with one another, and to become active with their neighbors.”

Noor Shams, Cue-rated

New York, NY

Cue-rated, an organization that celebrates South Asian culture, hosted a benefit dinner to raise awareness about the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.

“Community is precious to me because it is what fosters my sense of belonging to the place I live and the place I come from. My community keeps me connected to the values I believe in, gives me the courage to stand up for them, and inspires me to do more.”

Lindsey McLorg, Tam House

San Anselmo, CA

Lindsey and her husband Malcom McLorg are long-time members of the BRAC USA community.

“Malcolm and I have raised our family in San Anselmo, California – the town in which Malcolm grew up, and where we have lived since 1984. So, we have long and deep ties to this community. While by no means the toniest town in Marin County, it is one in which most residents live comfortably. Managing dual careers for which we commuted to San Francisco while raising our children often left us stretched to find time to build connections in our immediate community.

 

Over the years, we became friends with fellow parents, bonding through our children’s activities, like the swim team. Seeking to make a broader impact in our community, I got involved with Tam House – named in homage to Marin County’s gorgeous Mount Tamalpais. Tam House is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a home to low-income senior citizens in our community. My mother, who dedicated her life to social work and advocacy for seniors, imbued in me a desire to give back to this under-served community, and I have been an active member of the Board since 2004.

 

While day-to-day work can appear mundane at the surface, the opportunity to be a part of the transformative impact that Tam Houses has on the lives of our residents – and by extension on our community at large – inspires me to continue my service. Helping to provide a wonderful home and food for 21 seniors in our community has made me feel connected to my community in a meaningful way.”

Tasnim Faruque, St. Joseph’s College Asian Awareness Club

Brooklyn, NY

St. Joseph’s College Asian Awareness Club hosted BRAC USA at its annual Diwali festival.

“Helping others is part of who I am. Since I was a little girl, growing up in the urban landscape of Bangladesh, I was inspired to help the less fortunate. In order to create a better world, we must ensure that everyone’s rights are protected. No one should experience starvation, poor hygiene conditions, or a lack of access to health care. It is our duty to assist those in need. After all, no matter what part of the world we are from, we are united as one big community.”

Zarme Shahnawaz, Cue-rated

New York, NY

Cue-rated, an organization that celebrates South Asian culture, hosted a benefit dinner to raise awareness about the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.

“Community is important because it provides a safe space for us to come together, based on our common interests, while also giving us the freedom to celebrate our differences, learn from and about each other, and be heard.”

Activate the power of community.

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