The ILM (Intellect-Love-Mercy) Foundation for the last 19 Ramadans has converted charity into advocacy and action for Humanitarian Day (HDAY) projects. Through its network the Coalition to Preserve Human Dignity (CPHD,) we intentionally share our experience with volunteers and organizations on we how have utilized the HDAY model for community organizing in service.

This year’s theme is “Awareness-Advocacy-Action” which is an appropriate anthem for a call to action, that not only provides Neighborly Needs; but also provide learning tools for education and impact.

Through the Humanitarian Day (HDAY) experience, we have learned the essence of service projects which is to maintain a simplistic thirst for ongoing learning; so we empathized and then defined the question, “What is Humanitarian Day?”  We identified possibilities where new features can be implemented for a more surreal experience. The following bullet-points asked us where we can begin to raise, reduce, eliminate and create new standards for service projects:

  • How can the volunteer leave with a more surreal experience?
  • Can we increase our ability to build with relevant local agencies?
  • And how to directly deliver our services?

Since 2000 HDAY’s model was mainly based on an on-site orientation that motivates volunteer-activism, for a positive and synergistic distribution – which is still relevant. In Ramadan 2017 we beta tested a new model to actualize what “Awareness, Advocacy, and Action” would look like. The results evolved our concept; so now we encourage intentional dialogue, make time for “more” 1-2-1s with related sources, and most of all remain cool while under pressure.  The Islamic Center of Santa Ana in Orange County, California graciously opened their doors for HDAY 2017, where we tested this scenario.

FYI: Prior to the 2018 campaign “Not In My Back Yard” nicknamed “NIBMY.” Orange County began showing signs of its homeless population growing. We knew then (2015) that homelessness in Orange County, is beginning to reflect homelessness in Los Angeles County, whose population doubled to 23% over one year. The model is to build compassion and influence for the people who are willing to serve and pass it on, as a reminder for what’s truly important ~ the people who we serve.

#HDAY2018 will include the following method for service…

(1) Dialogue for social awareness, as a personal development tool.
(2) Express a deeper sense for advocacy for issues around homelessness.
(3) Create interactive actions, that moves volunteer activism into a new space.

The following resulted in raising its standards and evolving the HDAY concept for service: (1) Volunteers can feel more connected to meet new community neighbors, (2) Participants took this conversation into other spaces between work and home, and (3) the target doubled through direct engagement. We documented this experience on camera, so we can share this open source project ~ please share this video.

[Download #HDAY2018 Event and Volunteer Form]

“ILM Foundation’s mission is to teach life skills to economically underprivileged youth and adults so that social ills are replaced with opportunities for intellectual and economic empowerment.”