Deep within the depths of the world wide web, a secret power is being harvested all across the United States. The brains behind the operation is Hala Amer, of Fair Lawn, NJ.
She is the founder and ringmaster of the Muslim Mom Network (MMN). Founded in 2006 and nearly 500 strong (a modest number by most means) the group’s strength lies in its’ call to action.
A young mother in need of diapers? Within minutes, members flock to the internet to send them her way. And in a matter of days, the necessities will start magically appearing at her doorstep.
A new bride and groom needing a boost to start off their life together? An online wedding registry in their name sends household items over right away, met with grateful tears.
Over time, the MMN has contributed to numerous, varied causes. To name a few: a blanket drive for a New Jersey charitable network, running a book and clothing collection for the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, and helping to purchase wheelchairs for a local hospital.
The buying power of women is well documented. Marketers in nearly every sector are increasingly targeting the female demographic. And moms? Well, they represent a staggering $2.4 trillion market!
Amer is putting this fact to good use. Women from all walks of life race to fulfill needs anywhere within the community, locally, or even across the globe. And thanks to the internet, social media and online commerce, anyone, anywhere can help.
Recently, the MMN turned its’ attention to the dire situation in Syria. With the Middle East experiencing unheard of frigid temperatures, and in some areas, snow, millions got caught in the cold. The network chose to focus on the children in Syria, already living in dire circumstances, without heating, proper clothing, or even homes.
MMN members immediately sprung into action. They created an Amazon registry and with the power of it’s fast and free shipping, within days they filled a collection site with dozens upon dozens of boxes of blankets, coats, socks and more.
Working with a local mosque, these items will be sent via container to Syria, and Inshalah, right to the children, whose faces each mother in the network held in her mind as she hurried to send them some warmth.
That’s the m.o. of the network- focus on one single person, situation, or circumstance they can bring change to with their massive man power. To zoom in to help rather than try to fix the big picture.
Somewhere between caring for their parents and families, nurturing their marriages, building careers, and raising their own children, perhaps Muslim women haven’t had time to sit front and center and raise their voices at fundraisers. Maybe a late night meeting or baby feeding kept them from prayers at the mosque where men gave generously to the latest cause.
Muslim women are often the overlooked demographic, but they are quickly becoming a force to reckon with. They want to get involved and do more, but they sometimes don’t know where to look. Many of them are living comfortably, blessed with a stable career and family life, and are ready and willing to give back. The MMN gives them that platform- by finding those in need and connecting them with those willing to help.
So now the secret is out. And it all started with just one woman. So get involved, even if it’s in a small step for you; it may be monumental for the one you touch. You can click here to join them.
Sameera is a part-time working mom. Every day is a party in her house, thanks to her two toddler girls. She occasionally blogs at sameeraiqbal.blogspot.com, and hopes to home school one day in the near future. In the interest of full disclosure, she’s been a member of the Muslim Mom Network for several years.