Family Says Visit to Suburban Mosque Prompts Spirit of Giving

A suburban Chicago family’s trip to a neighboring mosque prompted one of its younger members to get in the interfaith spirit of giving.

In their church's newsletter, Christine and Matthew Organ came across an event being thrown at Masjid al Huda, a mosque near their home in Arlington Heights, the TODAY Show reports.

The couple brought their two sons — Jackson, 10, and Teddy, 6 — along with them in November.

"We've never had an event like this before, but a lot of people have been forming their own opinions about our faith in the past year, so we wanted to open our doors to show what it is we actually do," Saima Faiz, a congregant of the mosque, told TODAY.

Jackson had plenty of questions about what he had learned at the mosque, his parents said. It wasn't until it was time to put his Christmas wish list together that Christine Organ really saw the impact it had on him.

He handed his mom the final list on Dec. 2 and right there, sandwiched between tickets to a basketball game and a Hot Wheels AI System, were the words, "donations to the mosque we went to."

"I was so happy to see that he took something away from attending the mosque," Organ told TODAY. "He was very persistent about wanting to help them."

Organ reached out to the mosque to find out how to go about making a donation and included a photo of his wish list in the email. Saima wrote back thanking her and copied her husband, Salman Faiz, who is on the mosque’s board.

Salman called Organ and said he'd like to thank Jackson in person.

"It was humbling to see that he was affected by our hospitality," Salman said. "It really made me reflect on how, through all of the hateful noise that surrounds Muslims and other minorities these days, there are good people out there raising kids that are goodhearted."

Saima, Salman and their three young daughters showed up shortly after at the Organ's front door.

Organ didn't even have a chance to write a check before Salman announced that he had something for Jackson, TODAY reports. He went out to his car and came back with a Hot Wheels AI System.

"I was floored and so was Jackson," Organ said. "Since I always make him include a donation on his wish list, he didn't think what he did was anything too special."

Jackson has previously made many trips with his mom to drop food off at a local shelter and even gave up presents for his 5th birthday and instead asked everyone attending his party to make a donation, the family said.

"His sincere intention in wanting to give without expecting anything in return was why I felt so compelled to fulfill one of his wishes," Salman said. "We should always try our best to reciprocate such good actions."

Both mothers shared a moment on the front porch before parting.

"Our daughters know the value of receiving a gift on a special holiday and so they were amazed someone used their special holiday gift to help us," Saima said. "It was a blessing to have them see that generosity."

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