A Cook County Commissioner, a Viatorian priest and a group of Muslim women all came together this week, on the one-year anniversary of a successful fundraiser to help unaccompanied young migrants, held during the holy season of Ramadan.

Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison, center, hosts a virtual resolution ceremony thanking the women who raised funds for Viator House and Bethany House.

It was something of a first last year when a small group of Muslim women organized an iftar, or dinner during Ramadan, as a fundraiser for Viator House of Hospitality.

Anisha Patel, a board member with Viator House, works closely with Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, executive director of Viator House. Patel says she immediately found its mission compelling, as an immigrant herself and a Muslim woman. So did her network of friends and associates. Within a week of launching a campaign on social media, she surpassed her fundraising goal by $10,000 and went on to earn $40,000.

This year, with the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, there is no dinner, only an appeal, called “Your Support Matters.”

Once again, they met their immediate goal of raising $30,000 in seven days, and quickly reached more than $70,000. Their mission is to help support migrant youth — staying at Viator House and Bethany House of Hospitality — as well as their families back home in

Anisha Patel, center, with her co-chairs from last year: Rasha Ali, Nikita Desai, Farah Abid and Ikbal Koseli.

developing countries, where many live in poverty and health care systems are fragile. Donate to the cause, here.

The work of Patel and her fundraising team drew the interest of Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison, who held a virtual resolution presentation to honor them.

“I’m proud that Cook County and the Northwest suburbs are home to such compassionate people who are dedicated to improving the lives of others, especially those most vulnerable,” Commissioner Morrison said. “There is so much in the news and world right now that has us all feeling anxious and worried about the future. This team and their actions feel like an antidote and is a prime example of what is possible when people work together to lift up others and their community.”