Our Core Services are as follows:
1. Providing urgent and short-term assistance
Our core service is in utilizing Zakat donations from the local community to take care of the urgent needs of poor families and individuals in our midst. After a thorough review of a client’s circumstances, MCS determines whether financial assistance is appropriate as well as eligibility for Zakat and provides support to meet basic needs such as rent, utilities, food, medication, etc.
In determining eligibility we ask the applicant to provide details such as ID, bank statements, pay stubs, details of other sources of assistance such as food stamps and social security, etc.
The intent of performing this due diligence is to ensure Zakat funds are given to those that have assets less than the level of “Nisab” prescribed by the Sunnah. “Nisab” by the gold standard is 3 ounces of gold or its cash equivalent. Alternatively, it is 21 ounces of silver or its cash equivalent.
2. Guiding Clients to government programs and job search agencies
We encourage clients that are eligible to make use of existing government programs such as food stamps, food banks, Medi-Cal, etc. The goal however, is always to motivate and guide our clients towards self-reliance. To that end, we provide references to job search agencies and work with the client to assist in their job search. In some cases, we assist the client in finding low-cost accomodation.
3. Organizing educational events focused on strengthening families and nurturing our youth
While this is not currently our core service, we have organized events on topics pertinent to Muslim families such as domestic violence, Islamophobia and our youth, etc. We hope to organize such events with greater consistency moving forward.
4. Coordinating donations in kind
In December 2016 MCS rented a storage space, so donations of furniture, appliances, school supplies and household items from the community can be stored and utilized to assist a family that needs the specific items. At this point, we do not accept donations of clothes.
For such donations in kind, we request the following:
a. Items donated should be in good, working condition.
b. Please give us at least two week’s notice for furniture and a week’s notice for other items since we may need to arrange for transportation to pick up the items and drop them off at the storage space.
c. If you can coordinate with our Operations Manager to drop off the items directly at the storage space that would be ideal
5. Assisting prison inmates through visits and gifts
One of our board members has been consistently visiting a local prison to provide support to the inmates through Jumah Khutba, gifts of Quran and other Islamic books, etc.
If you wish to volunteer or donate items for prison inmates please contact MCS at firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Networking with local Islamic Centers
Every year, MCS assists some local Islamic Centers such as the Muslim Community Center (MCC) of in distributing Zakat al Fitr. We also work with Masajid in specific client situations where counseling or advice from an Imam is needed. We urge community members to give their Zakat-al-Fitr to the local Masjid or Islamic center well before Eid-al-Fitr, so that there is sufficient time to ensure Zakat-al-Fitr reaches the needy before the Eid Salah, as prescribed by the Sunnah.
7. Toy Drive and School Supplies Drive
We collect donations of toys during the last ten days of Ramadan, and identify needy families whose children can benefit from the toys and share in the joy of Eid.
Every year, we also organize a school supplies drive, to collect donations of school supplies from the community for needy families whose children need the basic school supplies to start their school year.