We Rise Above the Streets- Sandwich Saturdays Nourish Bodies and Spirits We Rise Above the Streets- Sandwich Saturdays Nourish Bodies and Spirits

SYRACUSE, N.Y.- Sandwich Saturdays, an initiative has just entered the 10th year since it’s being hosted. The event that the executive director of the organization Al-Amin Mohammad started not only to feed the hungry but also to foster inclusivity and build a stronger community.Every Saturday more than 50 volunteers get together at the Lincoln Middle School and tirelessly prepare sandwiches for a crowd of over 300 people. The volunteers prepare sandwiches together, donate other necessary items needs by the community and then distribute them at the Billings Park in Downtown, Syracuse.

Al-Amin Mohammad, the executive director of We Rise Above the Streets, brings a deeply personal perspective to this initiative. Having experienced homelessness for a decade himself, Mohammad resolved to give back to his community in the most meaningful way possible. “If we eat, they eat,” Mohammad says, encapsulating the organization’s mission to provide dignity and sustenance to those in need.

“I was homeless for ten years and I overcame homelessness. So I told myself I would become homelessness and start a nonprofit. I wanted to treat people like we would treat ourselves, bring new stuff, good food,” Mohammad said.

The volunteers understand the pain of hunger and not having enough themselves, for them it’s about giving back to the community that once helped them.

A volunteer Val Iorio said “” We are we’re immigrants. So we came with nothing. And it’s, you know, now I want to show the kids that we have to give back because somebody help us at one point and now, we got to do the same for others.”

Recently, 150 students from Rosemary School prepared sandwich bags for the event with heartfelt motivational messages. And the bags did just that- a guest at the event said, “”smile, you are amazing. Now many people hear that and not many people can feel it. So to be reminded I hear loved is a great feeling.”

They have carts with donated jackets, sweaters and socks and even more food- mac & cheese and donuts. People can also get other necessities like toothpaste, sanitary napkins, deodorants, tampons etc.

Currently all homeless shelters in Syracuse are full but Mohammad says his organization is working on bringing in more resources to accommodate more people in need of shelter.

Through the tireless efforts of volunteers and the unwavering support of the community, We Rise Above the Streets continues to uplift and nourish both bodies and spirits, one sandwich at a time.

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