Students at Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School raise money for a refugee fundraising campaign
Three PWCS students and a PWCS graduate have raised over $5,000 to create 275 feminine hygiene kits to help displaced refugees at a shelter in Leesburg, Virginia. The items collected for refugees are part of a coordinated effort with Operation Allies Welcome, the branch of Homeland Security that oversees the resettlement of refugees due to conflict overseas. This initiative was led by members involved in Health Environments Advance Life (HEAL); a student-led organization that aims to improve environmental health for all. The HEAL members involved in this project are high school juniors Charles J. Colgan Sr. Arman Lateef and Sophia Qamari, Salma Sherdil, a seventh-grade student at Pennington Traditional School, and Leena Sherdil, a 2021 graduate of Colgan High.
Through their efforts, the students were invited to a Ramadan engagement event hosted by the Dar Alnoor Muslim Association of Northern Virginia and the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. At the event, the students discussed their project’s successful fundraising campaign to create these donation kits with Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security. The event also detailed the efforts of other organizations involved in coordination to make refugee resettlement a smooth transition.
Lateef shared, “While attending a volunteer session at an event at a local mosque, I learned about the specific needs of the refugee population. Cultural and language barriers prevented refugee women from asking for essentials like feminine hygiene products and underwear To address this health need, Qamari and two of our volunteer EN-bassadors, Leena and Salma Sherdil, ran a fundraising campaign that raised over $5,000 $ to create feminine hygiene kits We reached out to Operation Allies Welcome officials we met at our local mosque, and they helped facilitate this donation.