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Dedicated Dad Bikes 75 Miles for Al-Huda School Written by Muslim Link Staff Saturday, 20 November 2010 02:41

Like most all schools in America, Al-Huda School in College Park, Maryland is underfunded. So, when this year’s kindergarten girls class needed funds to set-up a reading corner, the homeroom teacher appealed directly to the parents. One parent, “Brother Abdur-Rashid” whose daughter is in the class, was eager to contribute. His financial constraints were a major roadblock, but his desire to help meet the needs of the class gave him an idea. He would simply ride around, and over, and through those financial roadblocks. Abdur-Rashid decided what he didn’t have in financial resources, he had in health, time, and motivation. So, he planned a one-man bike-marathon to raise the money for the reading corner, which was estimated to cost around $700. Contacting Lakeshore Learning, an educational resource store in Alexandria, Virginia, Abdur-Rashid explained his charitable project and secured shipping discounts for whatever materials he would purchase. He would raise funds by biking from Al-Huda School in College Park, Maryland all the way down to Alexandria, Virginia and back – a total distance of about 75 miles. Raising money by getting well-wishers to sponsor each mile of his trip, Abdur-Rashid would pre-purchase materials from Lakeshore Learning, load them into a bike-hitched mini-trailer, and pull them all the way back to Al-Huda School, all in a single day. Officials at Al-Huda School who learned about the idea wanted to make a big event out of it, but Abdur-Rashid insisted that he do the bike-marathon with little fanfare. So, on Monday, October 11, 2010, right after praying fajr at Dar-us-Salaam in College Park, with only Al-Huda School’s  Principal and the editor of the Muslim Link newspaper as witnesses, Abdur-Rashid set off around 6:30 AM. Taking his beat-up mountain bike through a Google generated bike route, Abdur-Rashid avoided highways and busy roads, traveling scenic morning-fog filled bike paths connecting Prince George’s County with DC, he passed the US Capitol and the Potomac River, entering Arlington through Mount Vernon and then into Alexandria. Only stopping for quick bathroom and food breaks, Abdur-Rashid loaded up his mini-trailer with just under 100 pounds of books while his wife transported over-sized classroom furniture and supplies by car, getting back to Al-Huda School around 2:30pm.

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Dedicated Dad Bikes 75 Miles for Al-Huda School Written by Muslim Link Staff Saturday, 20 November 2010 02:41

All in all, Abdur-Rashid received $1,468 worth of pledges – some of which hasn’t materialized yet. But, he was excited when he surpassed the $700 mark. “For the cost of some bananas and honey we did alright, Alhumdulillah,” he wrote in an email after the bike-marathon. “We are novice fundraisers. It was a learning experience. The bike idea was always secondary … the real issue was the ‘wish list’ [for the class]. It struck me that teachers should not need a wish list [because] teachers should have whatever they need to educate our children. I think parents are responsible to meet the needs of teachers and students,” said Abdur-Rashid. “Even parents whose funds are limited have faith and health that we can use to help. Do something!” he said. Abdur-Rashid said though he experienced some soreness in his neck, knees, and numbness in his hands after the long ride, his spirit was strengthened knowing he made a goal and Allah helped him achieve it. Now, while his daughter’s kindergarten class enjoys a great, resource rich reading area, he is busy planning his next charitable ride. “This [brother] is an example of a healthy heart in every sense of the word, Insha’Allah,” said a board member of Dar-us-Salaam. “He is an inspiration to all of us.”

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http://www.muslimlinkpaper.com/index.php/community-news/community-news/2402-dedicated-dad-bikes-74-miles-for-al-huda-school.pdf

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