Keeping Naser’s Family Fed so He Can One Day Feed Young Minds
In 2015, Naser moved to the U.S. with his family, limited English-speaking skills, and big dreams. He’d owned a grocery store in Jordan, his home country, but wanted to become a professor and knew his educational opportunities were better in the States. As he worked toward being able to invest in and educate others, he learned to let others – an Army, in fact – invest in him.
Some things Naser planned on – like the hard work and dedication his dream would require. He got a job working at a pizza place in Norridge to support his wife and kids while he worked toward a degree in business administration. He earned his master’s in 2018.
There were some things Naser didn’t plan on – like a global pandemic happening shortly thereafter. He worked as many hours as he could at the pizza place while looking for a university where he could pursue his doctorate. Better paying jobs were hard to come by as much of the area shut down during the first year of COVID-19. Supporting his family became more and more challenging.
And that family kept growing. The family of four that had moved from Jordan was now a family of six – Naser, his wife, and their four children, now ages 10, 8, 4, and 8 months. Naser’s wife, who worked in a pharmacy in Jordan, has stayed home to care for their children since their move.
Thankfully, when they were in the hospital for the birth of their now-4-year-old, staff told the growing family about the help available through The Salvation Army. Soon, the family was attending the food pantry at the Norridge Citadel Corps Community Center every month, vital help that allowed Naser to keep pursuing his dream while caring for his beloved family.
“The help is wonderful,” Naser said. For the past few years, the family has also signed up for our Angel Tree program, which provides Christmas presents to children, teens, and seniors who would otherwise go without.
“It means a lot,” Naser said, recalling the toys and clothes his children have received through the program. “They help me a lot, and it’s a good community.” In the process, Naser has learned that sometimes it takes a community – or even an Army – to reach a long-term goal. Perhaps one day he’ll share that insight with his university students.