CHICO, CA. – Amid the devastation in Pakistan with over 1,700 dead and 33 million displaced during the monsoon season, a Chico family is doing their part to help the victims.
“Basic things they don’t have,” said Friends of California USA organizer Rabina Kahn.
Rabina Khan had been in Pakistan for a month and a half. She just returned to Chico on September 30. Almost a third of the country is under water.
“People lost their homes, their livelihoods, their businesses and above all so many farmers were also affected by this flood,” said Rabina Kahn.
Rabina was born and raised in Pakistan and still has family there, including her mother. She and her family started the non-profit organization Friends of California USA to bring resources directly to those in need.
“We took tents, we took food and clothes, blankets too,” Rabina Khan said. “Whatever is needed right now to survive.”
The Khan family delivered the resources to five cities full of casualties in the country.
They raised funds through donations from the community and even received help from local Islamic centers.
“May God give it to you, you might as well distribute it to other people who don’t have it,” said Khan Hamad Khan, treasurer of the Live Oak Islamic Center.
Rabina moved to Chico with part of her family when she was 17, now she is 60. They own the Palms in Chico and help organize events.
Pakistan is not the only place the family has helped, they have also helped the victims of the camp fire.
“We started buying blankets in Sacramento,” Rabina Khan said. “The moment we got here, my children’s friends said we wanted to add more blankets. That’s how the whole family and all the Islamic centers got involved, and we became a really big center for distribution for six months.”
This is their message to the community.
“We can’t control others or what happens to others and to us, but we can control how we react and what we do in return,” said Rabina’s daughter, Nyala Khan.
Friends of California USA currently has over a dozen people helping in Pakistan right now. They plan not only to help with survival, but also to partner with the North Valley Community Foundation to help rebuild Pakistan.