Our Founder Salwa Tagouri met the director of a Baltimore-based homeless shelter at a convention. The shelter was fundraising at a booth by selling decorated plates made by survivors of domestic violence who were living at at the shelter.
The Tagouri family wanted to get involved with the shelter. When they asked what was needed most, the answer was toiletries. Toiletries are necessities and something often forgotten when it comes to shelter donations.
The family worked with local schools to run toiletry drives, collecting hygiene items like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, feminine products, lotion, Q-tips, etc.
Over 5,000 items were collected!
The Tagouri family began organizing monthly grocery runs to the shelter.
Salwa also met a woman who introduced her to many families in need. Since they couldn't buy groceries for each family, they began purchasing grocery gift cards and distributing them among families in the DC/MD/VA area. The money to purchase the toiletries, groceries and grocery gift cards was raised through donations from friends and family.
The family consistently asks the shelter and community members in need what exactly they need, and over the years were able to fulfill special requests including microwaves, fans, cleaning supplies, diapers, formula, special needs items, furniture, and more.
Salwa’s daughter Noor began using social media as a tool to get the other communities involved with the monthly runs. Noor began a “GOOD DEED OPPORTUNITY” campaign, regularly posting about the opportunity to contribute to the grocery runs via Paypal and Venmo.
People from all over the world continue to contribute to the grocery runs, helping raise thousands of dollars; a true global community effort.
Winter 2017 brought brutal weather, and Salwa wanted to scale the efforts and do more to serve the community of people experiencing homelessness without shelter. The Tagouri family began putting together winter care packages and hygiene packages to pass out in Washington D.C. and Baltimore during the cold months. The hygiene packages became a regular effort after winter. The family worked with a local mosque to make bagged lunches to give with the care packages.
On the tenth year anniversary of these efforts, by the grace of God, the family began taking steps to turn this effort into an official foundation.
Salwa asked someone she met while distributing care packages, “What else do you need?” and the woman’s response was, “We just need to be seen.”
The idea of the “ISeeYou Foundation” was immediately born -- and there was no looking back.
The care packages and grocery runs continue monthly with the help of incredible people from all over the world (like you!)
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