MINNEAPOLIS – Nearly two weeks after a terrorist attack killed more than 300 people in Somalia, several Minneapolis businesses are coming together to raise money to help the survivors.
And people can support that effort by simply buying makeup, clothes or ice cream.
“When this hit, it really hit hard with me. I just felt horrible. I felt if I don’t do anything, nobody’s going to do anything,” recalled Muna Azam, owner of the Amandi Café in Minneapolis.
Azam opened her café only a couple weeks ago. Shortly after, terrorist bombs rocked Somalia’s capital city – Mogadishu – killing hundreds and injuring hundreds more. Azam decided then she needed to help the Somali survivors by dipping into her ice cream café’s early success.
“We all have to come together and help one another,” she said about her decision to host a fundraiser. Azam quickly discovered she wasn’t alone in wanting to make a difference.
On Saturday, four other Somali-owned businesses will join her at the Amandi Café to sell their products. The businesses will then donate 100 percent of their sales to the Minnesota-based American Refugee Committee, which will give the money to the Medina Hospital in Mogadishu.
“It’s the only public hospital in the city. But because of the sheer number of people that have gone to the hospital, they don’t have enough supplies to treat all the patients,” explained Carly Lunden with the American Refugee Committee.
She continued, “So right now, they’re missing some really basic things. Things like local anesthesia, hospital beds, gauze, oxygen. So there are some critical things that are needed but that are missing... All of the money will be going directly to this hospital and directly to the patients that need it most."
For Azam, donating a day’s sales comes naturally to a young woman – and entrepreneur – who believes the greater community can play a positive role.
“I want to do something. I want the young people in the city, whether they’re Somali, whether they’re not Somali, just as a human we should all get up and help one another,” she said.
MORE ABOUT THE EVENT
The fundraiser runs from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Amandi Café, located at 2927 East Lake Street in Minneapolis. Other businesses joining the event, are Bunka Tea Co., Fiore-Nor, Elegant Jannah Beauty and Zizi Boutique.
MORE ABOUT THE AMANDI CAFÉ
“People always ask what ‘Amandi’ means. It means ‘loving’ in Latin, so ‘loving café,’” explained Azam from the café.
“We serve all coffee, and the coolest thing that we serve is 'Thai Roll.' So ice cream, premium ice cream that is all rolled up tight together and served with whipped cream and any toppings you’d like,” she said.
Azam plans to open three more Amandi Café locations within the next year.
MORE ABOUT THE AMERICAN REFUGEE COMMITTEE
ARC has worked with refugees and marginalized communities around the world for nearly 40 years. For more information about the organization’s efforts – and how you can help support their life-saving work – just go to www.ARCrelief.org
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