DENVER — Weeks ago, Mediterranean Storm Daniel made its way through Libya, bringing with it heavy rainfall and leaving behind flooding. In the eastern portion of the country the storm caused a dam to break, destroying the city of Derna.
“Nobody was really expecting it to come,” said Ratag Abdelmalik “we just knew that there was a flood.”
Ratag Abdelmalik was born in Libya, but she and her family have lived in Denver since she was just 6-years-old. comes in. After checking in on her family and friends who still live in Libya, Ratag decided she needed to do something, anything, to help.
“I spoke with some of my friends here, some of my friends in Texas. And we’re like, we need to do something,” she said.
So she immediately took to Instagram, asking for supplies to donate. She listed items like blankets, toothbrushes, shampoos and diapers. She also asked for clothing and shoes to donate to women, men and children in Derna.
Before she knew it, she had hundreds of messages and items being dropped off at the Denver Islamic Center.
“Within like one day of having donations that whole entire doors like blocked off with it. So it was really great,” Ratag said.
She and her friends were able to ship dozens of boxes filled with donated items with the help of her uncle, and they’re not planning on stopping anytime soon.
Ratag added she plans on continuing to collect donations through the winter and send ships as she can.
As for the next shipment, she wants to narrow down what she sends.
“What we’re trying to focus on now is just more hygiene products like women’s pads, toothbrushes, deodorant, baby supplies, so diapers, baby clothing, socks, they’re bottles just because they outgrow that stuff very quickly,” she said.
Donations can be dropped off at the Denver Islamic Center, which is located at 2124 S. Birch Street in Denver.