Amid all of the hate that has been directed toward the nation’s Muslim population recently, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear of people building bridges amongst each other instead of walls.
Last month, the Organ family of Arlington Heights, Illinois, attended an event being held at Masjid al Huda, a local mosque.
"We've never had an event like this before, but a lot of people have been forming their own opinions about our faith in the past year, so we wanted to open our doors to show what it is we actually do," said Saima Faiz, a congregant of the mosque.
The Organs are a white family consisting of Christine and Matthew, and their two sons, Jackson, 10, and Teddy, 6. At the event, the Organs were among more than 400 guests who were interested in learning more about Islamic culture.
According to TODAY, young Jackson left the event filled with questions about the Islamic faith and genuine intrigue.
His mother learned just how much the visit impacted her son upon reading his Christmas list. Jackson handed her a list that included tickets to a baseball game, a Hot Wheels AI System, and a request for “donations to the mosque we went to.”
"I was so happy to see that he took something away from attending the mosque," Christine said. "He was very persistent about wanting to help them."
Christine contacted the mosque to find out how they can donate and sent them a photo of Jackson’s list. She received a response from Saima who copied her husband, Salman Faiz. Salman happens to be one of the mosque’s board members.
"It was humbling to see that he was affected by our hospitality," Salman said. "It really made me reflect on how, through all of the hateful noise that surrounds Muslims and other minorities these days, there are good people out there raising kids that are goodhearted."
Salman said he wanted to thank Jackson face to face, so he and Saima brought their three young daughters over to the Organs' house to meet.
The Faiz family not only thanked Jackson, but they brought him a Hot Wheels AI System — one of the items he asked for on his wish list.
Christine noted that she always makes Jackson include a donation on his list, so he wasn’t even aware he had done anything particularly special, which made the surprise of receiving a gift that much more exciting.
Jackson is no stranger to giving, as his family makes a diligent effort to be charitable all year long, according to TODAY. However, Jackson’s choice to include the mosque in his list is more than a reflection of his generous nature; it also symbolizes tolerance and love, which mosques aren’t getting much of these days.
"His sincere intention in wanting to give without expecting anything in return was why I felt so compelled to fulfill one of his wishes," Salman said. "We should always try our best to reciprocate such good actions."
At the risk of sounding cliché, this just goes to show how a little bit of kindness can go such a long way. There are many adults in this country who could learn a lot from Jackson about how to embrace and respect other people’s differences.
Banner Photo Credit: Pixabay, Alexas_Fotos