image Can you make a community impact with less resources? CAAP recently spoke with Yasmeen Shousher,  Washington, D.C. resident and owner of Mint + Modern consulting agency. Yasmeen is also a young philanthropist and longtime donor to ANERA, a humanitarian relief organization that advances the well-being of people in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan.

Shousher was recently recognized for her philanthropy at the 2013 ANERA Annual Dinner.

CAAP: Could you tell us a little about your relationship with ANERA?

Yasmeen Shousher: My mom introduced me to ANERA about five years ago, and I began supporting the organization by sponsoring a child in the Middle East. I have been giving a monthly donation ever since. I was drawn to ANERA because it is an apolitical organization. ANERA’s goal and strategy is simple: get the necessary funds to the people most in need.

I have confidence in ANERA’s programming; I believe like the services it provides are forward-thinking and innovative.  ANERA operates several healthcare and education projects, and they run a greenhouse project that encourages self-sufficiency among their constituents.

I feel like I have a partnership with ANERA, and I always feel connected with them through their communications.

CAAP: Who inspired you to give back?

YS: My parents [both CAAP Board Members] definitely encouraged my brother and I to give our time and resources to various causes from an early age. Philanthropy was a part of our upbringing. My grandparents were also very generous people and they continue to be to this day.

CAAP: Do you have advice for other young Arab Americans who want to get involved in philanthropy?

YS: Philanthropy is a big word, but I recognize I have a responsibility to give back. Once you start giving your time or money, you won’t miss it. I always remind myself that the non-profit would miss it more than me. I would also encourage those who can’t give a large amount of money at one time to not be discouraged. Small, yet recurring donations can still make a difference in the lives of others.  Non-profits come to rely on these donations as they are incorporated in the budget’s monthly (or quarterly) cash flow.  They’re able to plan effectively for where these funds are distributed.

Shousher’s style of giving is a great reminder we can all make a huge difference in our community no matter the kinds of resources we possess. Our thanks and congratulations go to Shousher, and we wish her success in her future philanthropic pursuits!

Image: Yasmeen Shousher and her father Hussien at the 2013 ANERA Annual Dinner

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