Somalis in the US help famine victims at home

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - During this holy month of Ramadan, members of the Somali community line up to break their day-long fast in accordance with Muslim tradition.

As the kitchens crack and sizzle, the plates sag with the weight of American abundance. But as CBS News national correspondent Dean Reynolds reports, it's the famine back home that is on their minds.

"When you hear those stories, I mean, how could you not step up and, you know humanly, not do anything about that," asks Sade Hashi,

How to help

So every night, Safari restaurant co-owners Sade and Jamal Hashi - both refugees from the 1993 civil war - donate $1 out of each $11 buffet meal to Somali relief.

"We didn't want to forget our brothers who are going through the hardships," Jamal said. "This is a rude awakening for us, I would say."

Complete Coverage: East Africa Famine

Shukri Abdinur was just six when she arrived from Somalia. She just graduated from the University of Minnesota. "The number one thing we all thought about was how do we help? How do we get involved?"

She and 30 friends have held small events that have raised $7,600 in one month. "It is a small amount of money, but at the end of the day I think it's going to help some way," she said.

It's part of some $200,000 raised here. Still, there is concern that the aid might be re-directed to rebels or terrorists. So the Somali community has partnered with the American Refugee Committee - which has been found ethical and trustworthy by the FBI.

American Refugee Committee

The group is on the ground now, south of Mogadishu, about 8,000 miles from Minneapolis, distributing supplies financed by relatives, friends and average Minnesotans who have not forgotten how fortunate they are.

  • Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.