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Can We Sustain And Grow MY Project USA Beyond 2020?

Dear Community, 

This letter is my effort to have an honest, direct communication with you. Please take five minutes to read it. It is very important I need your help and prayers.  

I have spent the last month in arranging for funds to provide food, cleaning supplies and cash assistance for other essentials to hundreds of families that rely on us, MY Project USA, in the Hilltop area, especially Wedgewood Village Apartments, a section-8 Housing complex that is home to 670 impoverished families mostly from Somali Bantu tribe. I am humbled that we were able to provide food and cash assistance of up to $25,000 to more than 700 families. Thanks to all of our donors, partners and amazing, selfless pantry and soccer teams and other volunteers that we have achieved so much in such a short time. Praise be to God. 

As we are preparing for the next round of supplies this weekend, I am extremely stressed and worried about the future of our very organization. This COVID-19 Pandemic has hit our organization very hard right when we thought we were about to bloom. MY Deah's is closed. Warehouse is closed. We have just lost our container sale, another major sale of a very large donation of liquidated items is in pending for who knows how long.

I am applying for various loans and grants available to nonprofits under the recently passed CARES ACT. These loans are restricted to rents, utilities, and salaries. We cannot use them to pay loans and debts incurred in the past that we hoped to pay this year through the profits we would make on our used clothes and shoes container business this year. This is a huge hardship and it is stressing me out financially and emotionally. 

MY Project USA is a true story of an underdog organization that was started in my kitchen. It's been built by mostly grassroots small donations. To this day, no mosque in Columbus has hosted any fundraiser for us. We have not received any single donation larger than $1000 from any mosque in the area. All our donations come from individuals and businesses that we have reached out through social media and personal connections. This has been a journey up the hill against the winds. It has consequences. 

At the moment, MY Project USA has $100,000 in loans. $38,500 in credit card loans and $66,000 in personal loan from myself and my uncle. All of this loan has been incurred over the period of five years in buying most important equipment and supplies for the warehouse, paying rents and utilities and paying salaries of all of our employees that we hire from the community we serve. Whenever, we  were short of cash flow,  I added from my personal account. I invested my uncle's money, with his permission, in buying equipment and supplies for the warehouse business Neither I nor any of my board members receive any salary or any other benefits from the organization. None of this loan is on any interest so far.  

In the last 3 years, we have invested about $100,000 in building our container business. We have been modeling after the Goodwill Stores in this business. This year, we were all set for selling two containers a month. Our projection was to make $110,000 in profits in a year. We were hoping to slowly but gradually getting out of our loans and be self sufficient by 2021. But all of a sudden, this has changed. I am told that the container business will be on halt for a few months and there is no good future at least for a year or so in this pandemic era.  This is extremely stressful. 
At this moment, even if I get whatever is available under the CARES ACT, I don't see any way out of this hole. My mother is fully disabled and I need to be taking care of her 24/7. I can't afford volunteering 70-80 hours weekly to the organization as I have been for the last five years. I have to pick between constantly chasing money (grants and fundraising) and expanding our services to more families while improving all initiatives. All of our initiatives are run by young people. They are amazing people, but they need my time and attention to get things done more efficiently and cost effectively. The results we produce at MY project USA are the team work between myself and our project teams.   

In the last five years, I have given my soul and blood to this community and this organization. Regardless of slanderous attacks and smear campaigns by a few, I have continued my work and have built an unprecedented legacy for you all to be proud of. Together, we have served more than 115,000 clients. we have saved hundreds of youths. If you are pleased with this result, would you be willing to pay for some of that work that was done by borrowing money because we did not receive enough donations at the time. 

Those of you who value MY Project USA and believe in my leadership, my message to you is please do not take me for granted. Please do not take MY Project USA for granted. This woman who might look very strong to you from outside is very tired now. My family needs my help more than ever before and I need your help. I can still continue if I get sufficient funds to pay our loans and to grow this organization further. Otherwise, I just can't go forever. I have no money left in my pocket to support it anymore. 

This is the time for you, the community, to decide if you would like to see MY Project USA around next year and beyond. Besides feeding people, you all have to think about the operations, equipment, office supplies and other tons of things that also need to be paid in running an organization like MY Project USA. Think about the administrative staff who need to be in office on daily basis. Their salaries need to be paid from general funds. I can't pay them from soccer grant, pantry funds or any other fund that has already been earmarked by the donor.  Unless you support us as an organization as a whole, we can't continue feeding people and do things without building and sustaining our infrastructure. I hope it makes sense to you and you chose to support our general funding as well. 

Please Click Here to Donate on Facebook. 
Those of you who are not on Facebook can directly
Donate on our Website. On Website, please choose "General Funds" option. 
Checks could also be mailed to MY Project USA. 
Mailing Address: PO Box, 1311, Hilliard OH 43026In Solidarity with Youth & Families, 
You can also Chase Quick Pay us using our email address:

I ask Allah almighty to accept this organization from all of us as a act of sincere charity. May He strengthen us with more resources, funds and community's support. Ameen


Zerqa Abid, 
Founder & Executive Director
MY Project USA
Donate Now To Sustain MY Project USA

Our Response To COVID 19: Educate. Feed. Connect. Support 

Stay Home & Let Us Serve You!

Food & Cash Assistance for up to $25,000 has been distributed to 700 Plus Families In 10 Days

Extended Community Outreach & Awareness Campaign In Maay Maay Dialect For Somali Bantu Community

Columbus Stay Safe from Corona - Information  in Maay Maay Dialect For Somali Bantu Community 

Columbus Police Officer Taylor, Our Community Coordinator, Aden Mohamed and our Founder & Executive Director Zerqa Abid explaining to our Somali Bantu community members about how to stay safe from Corona.

Please share with elderly and new immigrants who might not understand the English versions fully.

If you need help please call us at 614-905-0977

Somali Bantu to speak Maay Maay- 614-615-0061.

Columbus Stay Safe from Corona - Information in Urdu

Columbus Stay Safe from Corona - Information in Arabic

Our Selfless Volunteers Are Working Tirelessly To Keep The Community Safe, But We Need Your Help 

Please Donate or/and Volunteer To Help Us Get Through This Difficult Time

This Is How We Protect & Empower Our Community!

In these challenging times of COVID 19 Pandemic, MY Project USA emergency response is in full effect.  The health and safety of our employees, the neighbors that we humbly serve and the volunteers that make it all possible remain an organizational priority.  Transparency is one of the reasons why city officials, community members, and generous donors trust us to do what we do, now more than ever!  Thus far, the following steps have been taken as a response to the current national state of emergency. 
  1. MY Deah's Store has been closed for the customers.
  2. MY Family Pantry has become a drive-through pantry for the time being. 
  3. A live fundraiser is online to raise funds for dry food staples, cleaning supplies, and hygiene items to be distributed to families in need. We need $30,000 to provide enough basic supplies for a month to these families. 
  4. Soccer and Reading programs have been suspended until further notice. Youth Town Hall has been postponed.
  5. A new awareness campaign has been launched in Maay Maay dialect to educate and empower the Somalii Bantu community members in Wedgewood. We are producing short videos of community members to educate each other. 
  6. Employees are provided with proper instruction and  individual work areas to implement social distancing. Most meetings are online. 
  7. Case in-takes are being done online and over the phone. 
  8. We are distributing these supplies over the weekend. This is in addition to the fresh produce that we pass on Saturday at MY Family Pantry. We need volunteers to help pack the boxes on Fridays.
Click Here to Donate on Facebook. This is helping us in addressing their immediate needs.
Those of you who are not on Facebook can directly Donate on our Website. On Website, please choose "Misc. Help For Family In Need Option. 
Checks could also be mailed to MY Project USA. 
Mailing Address: PO Box, 1311, Hilliard OH 43026
In Solidarity with Youth & Families, 
Donate Now To COVID 19 Emergency Fundraiser
Sign Up To Help At The Food Pantry

5-Year Report: Our Story


Have You Seen Our Five Year Report? 

It Documents An Amazing Story Of Compassion, Professionalism, Service, Advocacy & Activism 

Together We Have Passed More Than 2.5 Million Meals & Snacks To More Than 114,000 Individuals

We are humbled and proud at the release of our Five Year Report. It's truly heartwarming to see how much has been done in such a little time with so few resources. May Allah taala reward each and every individual who has contributed in any way to any of our initiative. Ameen.

This is a 20-page report highlighting our contribution in the following areas:
Food Insecurity
Civic Engagement
Environment Protection
Helpline: Uplifting Families in Need
Youth Development
Education & Literacy
Sports & Recreation
Job Training & Entrepreneurship
Awards & Recognition

It also gives good picture of our financial situation. How much we received from our donors/partners and how we invested it back in the community. Please download it and take your time to read this excellent report. Please share with others as well.

Last month, a printed copy of the report was mailed to all 2019 donors along with their 2019 end of the year statement. More copies are available at request. Please request your copy at

All of this was only possible due to financial support of our donors and tireless work of our board members, staff and hndreds of volunteers. We thank all of you. Please continue supporting us through your donation and participation. Together we can keep protecting and empowering more youth and families. 
Download Full Report Now
Donate Now To Uplift More Youth & Families
MY Deah's store

Due To COVID 19 Pandemic, MY Deah's Store Has Been Closed Until Further Notice 

10 Locations In Columbus & 2 Locations in Dayton To Drop Off Donations - Truck Pick Up Available For Large Donations

You can now drop off your donations of new and gently used clothes, shoes books, toys and other small non-breakable items in a donation box near you. These location Include: 

Noor Islamic Cultural Center -  5001 Wilcox Rd. Dublin 43016
Masjid Omar Ibn El-Khattab -  580 Riverview Dr, Columbus, OH 43202
Masjid Nimrah - 4501 Refugee Rd, Columbus, OH 43232
MAS Youth Center - 4615 Northtowne Blvd, Columbus, OH. 43229
Turkish American Society of Ohio (TASO) - 2885 W Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43235
Ahlul Bayt Society - 2580 W Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43235
The First Congregational Church - 444 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
Quick & Easy Mart -  4197 Cleveland Ave. Columbus
MY Deah's Store - 3036 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43204 - During Business Hours Only
MY Deah's Warehouse - 4004 Fondorf Dr. Columbus, OH 43228
Dayton Mercy Society -  2277 Maue Rd, Miamisburg, OH 45342
Osman Gazi Mosque -  1508 Valley St, Dayton, OH 45404

We are looking for more locations. If interested in helping us or have any other question, please contact us at

MWF  10:00 AM to 5:00 PM 
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Donate Now To Support Our Operations

MY Project USA Addressing Human Trafficking, Drugs & Gangs in Ohio

This Is Why You Should Support Us 
Donate Now To Empower More Youth
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Our Office Location:
3036 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43204
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 1311, Hilliard, OH 43026

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MY Project USA · PO Box 1311 · Hilliard, OH 43026 · USA