Muslim Foundation Seeks to Help All Domestic Violence Victims

Courtesy: Texas Plano Star

Submitted photo - The Resale Sophisticate thrift store, a fundraising store for Texas Muslim Women's Foundation, takes money and item donations to sell to the community to benefit domestic violence victims.

BY JON VANDERLAAN,

Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:21 AM CDT

DESPITE FACING POOR ODDS AND RAMPANT PREJUDICES, A FOUNDATION IS ATTEMPTING TO BREAK THROUGH BARRIERS TO HELP WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED.

The Texas Muslim Women's Foundation, which is based in Plano and was founded in 2005, opened a Resale Sophisticate, a thrift and consignment store, in September 2009 in an attempt to further serve victims of domestic violence.

Hind Jarrah, one of the founders of the organization and the first president of TMWF, said the store's main trouble is attracting customers.

"People need to be aware that we are here," she said. "That is the most important thing. I don't think people know what we are about."

Jarrah said because of the poor economy, it was impossible for the organization to expect donations to support its needs and the needs of those who benefit from the organization.

Many misconceptions about Muslims hurt their cause, she said, but it is an organization dedicated to helping all women and not just Muslim women.

"We're not scary," she said. "We're not subjugated; we're not people who have our decisions made for us. "We are all determined to make this a success. You know why we are determined? Because it is for a good cause."

Although the need to eliminate stereotypes and misconceptions exists, Jarrah said, the main purpose in founding the organization and the storefront is because a need exists to help victims of domestic violence.

Muslim women have the same trouble as other women, but Jarrah said much of the time their problems are complicated by differences in language, religion and attire. Because larger organizations are not able to specialize help for Muslim women, they often are looked over when seeking help.

Mary Wills, a spokeswoman for the store, said it is important to make the store profitable so those profits can help the nonprofit organization. She said most people will be able to find something that suits them in the store and that it's not just for Muslims.

Information has gone out to the entire community as a result, Wills said. Sabrina Mohamed, manager of the store, said she has volunteered for the organization since it was established and now is working for the store in hopes that she can help in raising funds. Mohamed even was able to enlist the help of her entire family in the cause.

According to a release by the organization, about 150,000 Muslims live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area out of the seven million Muslims in the United States.

The store sells women's, men's and children's items, as well as consignment items and some electronics. Mona Kafeel, vice president of public relations for the organization, said so many people need help in this area that none of the money raised through the store or through donations leaves the area.

The store has not done too well in its first year, she said, but it has received plenty of positive response from the community.

"I think it's the (organization's) cause that makes it a bit different," Kafeel said.

Editor's Note: This story has been republished with the permission of Texas Plano Star.

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