How A UCommunicate Member Is Giving Back

Through these difficult times we are facing, one UCommunicate member has stepped up and used this as an opportunity to serve and give back to her community.  

Mariam Elgafy graduated from UC in 2019 with a BS in Education, BA in Communication, and minor in Political Science. She immediately came back for her MA in Communication and is now finishing up her first of two years in the program. She began working with UComm this semester and is currently the Co-Director of USPEAK. Beyond her academics, Mariam’s work extends within different communities focusing on advocacy, mentorship, and leadership development. 

“The Dayton Muslims for Humanity mask initiative with the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton was initiated in response to Governor DeWine’s recommendation that Ohioans wear cloth face masks when in public,” Elgafy said. So far through their initiative, they have been able to assemble and distribute more than 700 masks. They are distributed throughout the Dayton and Cincinnati areas to local homecare facilities, the City of Dayton donations, healthcare facilities, local residents of Dayton and Cincinnati, and other cities.  

Their staff of seamstresses is made up of volunteers, women who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are having to file for unemployment, and single-mothers who are in need of a reliable income. Elgafy made it a priority in her efforts to pay these women for their time. A GoFundMe page was created in order to collect donations for fabric supply as well as paying those assisting with sewing. They have been able to raise over $1,200 but, as the demand for facemasks increases, it is critical that people continue to donate. While they are offering the face masks free of cost to the community, they want to ensure that those sewing are being financially supported as their work continues.  

Elgafy shared her inspiration, “I would say that the inspiration behind this initiative is a need – a need within a community, a need to support each other, and a need to change the narrative of a community. Even though we are social distancing, our communities are coming together to assist one another in such times. I hope that soon we can look back at this time as a memory of a community supporting each other during hardship and realize that regardless of our differences – we are all humans that depend on each other. We lead with kindness, empathy, and most all: humanity.”  

We are so proud of Mariam for her philanthropic efforts to help her community and thankful to have such a passionate, driven individual as a part of our UCommunicate team. Please consider supporting her efforts through their Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ohio-muslims-for-humanity  

Maddie Boyd

Photo provided by Mariam Elgafy

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