After the Nov. 18 Project Hope and Harmony meeting, Mukit Hossain, eastern Loudoun County resident, took it upon himself to raise more than $10,000 to buy winter coats for Herndon's day labor population.
"In a matter of a couple of hours we exceeded our target of $10,000," said Hossain, who has founded and participates in many area charities geared toward helping the area's less fortunate.
At the end of the meeting Amy Langrehr, day labor coordinator with Reston Interfaith, mentioned the men at the 7-Eleven desperately needed coats because many did not have warm enough clothes for the winter months.
Hossain said after hearing that he began contacting members of the Muslim community, including Sterling Management, FAITH (Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help), the ADAMS Center and other individuals to help, telling them he was raising money to buy coats for the day laborers.
"When it comes to charity I tend to get impatient," he said about the fast turn-around and distribution. "When someone is in distress they need [help] right away."
On Saturday, Nov. 20, Hossain, accompanied by members of the Muslim community — including children — distributed 30 coats to the men on site.
"Children need to know and understand what this is about," he said adding the men on site were so happy they wore their gifts even though the temperatures were a little warm for the down coats.
Hossain said the group took a "wish list" with more names, phone numbers and coat sizes to return to the K-Mart where staff has pulled coats for the cause.
"You see theses things and it really makes you feel what life is about," he said adding any remaining coats will go to the homeless he feeds in Fairfax.