Kazi Mannan, owner of the Sakina Halal Grill in Washington, D.C., has always served more than just food. “Giving is a joy,” he has said. That is why he has also served up kindness, joy, and charity at his restaurant. He has offered free meals to the homeless since he opened in 2013. “We will honor you and respect you the same way we honor and respect, you know, paying guests,” he told CBS News in 2019.
Kazi learned to cook from his mother when he was growing up in Pakistan. It was his mother who also taught him the importance of helping others. “She would always have an extra plate to give to the neighbor,” he previously said.
But as with many businesses, especially restaurants, the pandemic has changed things for the Sakina Halal Grill; they have suffered huge losses, revenue has plummeted, and he realized in early July that he could no longer afford to give out those free meals.
This was a difficult experience for Kazi. “It just hurts,” Mannan said. “Like, you know, it’s in you that you wanted to give, but your pockets are empty.” He couldn’t let that stand and did something about it; he reached out.
Kazi Mannan set up a GoFundMe page to see if anyone would help him continue to feed the homeless, and the world responded. People from Bangladesh, London, Haiti and elsewhere made donations. “We raised over $250,000 which will give me a cushion to last through this pandemic and start offering a free meal that is going to give me the joy that I was talking about,” Mannan said.
It took less than 3 days to hit the mark and since then they have raised over $325,000 in donations thanks to over 7,000 contributors. If you would like to know more about this incredible showing of generosity and kindness you can find it in your Good News Story of the Day, here.
Not always will we have full pockets capable of giving as much as we would like, but when we come together in support, kindness, and love, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.
Story and Image from CBS News.