SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– We Rise Above the Streets Community Outreach hosted their fifth annual “If We Eat, They Eat” Cookout for the Homeless event on Saturday that brought out hundreds of neighbors from all walks of life.
The founder of the organization, Al-Amin Muhammad, said he started this cookout for the homeless population because he knows firsthand what it feels like to be on the streets and hungry.
“The reason why I’m doing this is because I was homeless for 10 years myself, I know how it feels not to be noticed, I know how it feels not to be hungry and I know the pain of being hungry,” he said.
The event has grown each year since it began and dozens of volunteers showed up to give away free clothes, books, and even free haircuts.
“It’s just the simplicity of giving back, but also giving a haircut,” said Tricia Neiter, owner of 24K Salon in Syracuse. “Sometimes we don’t realize it’s not an expense for everybody and in everybody’s budget so to be able to give somebody who might not be able to afford it and put a smile on their face and make them feel happy and good about themselves it might help them in more ways than one.”
The message of kindness and love was present throughout the event and Syracuse police officers and candidates for office were there helping to spread that message including Jen Schultz, the Democratic candidate for district one of Syracuse’s Common Council.
“This just demonstrates that people are good, people all have the same needs and respect, love, and care is what it’s all about and no matter your age or your income level or your stage in life, we all just need to be together and work together,” Schultz said.
Using small acts of kindness to make a big difference. And if you’re interested in getting involved or donating you can visit the We Rise Above the Streets website here.