By Fardad Yazdi, Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)
Los Angeles, CA - The Iranian New Year, Nowruz, is a traditional time of giving for Iranian Americans. This year, it is an occasion for all Iranians to give back to the less fortunate members of their communities. It is in this spirit that the Iranian American community of Southern California is sharing the traditions of this festive time with the people of LA's Skid Row community.
On Friday, March 16, 2012, The Midnight Mission, one of the oldest continuously operating human services organizations in the Los Angeles region, will host a special celebration of Nowruz for over 2,000 Skid Row residents. Iranian American individuals and businesses are sponsoring the event through their generous donations.
On this day streets surrounding the Midnight Mission will be closed and dressed with flags and banners to create a festive atmosphere. Dinner tables will be setup to serve traditional Nowruz meals and delicacies. On a special stage setup for this event, notable Iranian American performers and dance ensembles will present traditional Iranian music and dances in colorful costumes. In addition, dignitaries and event sponsors will be present to lend their support. In the time-honored tradition of giving Eydi (gifts) during this time, every guest will receive a gift bag containing clothing and hygiene products as well as toys for the children.
Nearly 100 years old, The Midnight Mission offers men, women and children who have lost everything a way to become self-sufficient. Their emergency services, 12-step recovery program, job training, education and work programs offer a compassionate bridge to productive lives and remove the obstacles to self-sufficiency. They provide the accountability and structure that people who are experiencing homelessness need to rejoin their communities. Their commitment to their success defines The Midnight Mission. For more information visit www.midnightmission.org.
In 2010, the United Sates Congress passed the Nowruz Resolution recognizing the cultural and historical significance of Nowruz, and expressed appreciation to Iranian-Americans for their contributions to American society.
Iranian Americans have worked hard over the past three decades to project an accurate image as one of the most accomplished and civic-minded immigrant groups in America. Nowruz at The Midnight Mission will act as yet another important catalyst to further enhance the image of Iranian Americans as community builders and to promote greater understanding.
Become a Sponsor - Your Nowruz donation to The Midnight Mission will help to create an unforgettable day for their clients and guests on March 16. It will also help the mission to continue developing innovative, timely and effective programs for the men, women and children of Los Angeles.
Become a Volunteer - The Midnight Mission's Volunteer program is a vital part of its service delivery system. Annually thousands of individuals, church groups, employee groups and others come down to the Mission or the Family Housing Program to serve the clients and guests.
The Midnight Mission has designated March 12 through March 15 as Nowruz Volunteer Days.
To become a sponsor or volunteer please visit www.NowruzInLA.com
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