Hands Across Texas
Fareed Hassen was born in 1930 and raised in Stamford, Texas, a city of about 3,000 people located north of Abilene.
Over the years he has served on many boards and supported many agencies in the community including the School Board, Chamber of Commerce, City Council, Industrial Foundation, Development Corporation of Stamford, Methodist Church, Rotary Club, and the United Way to name a few. In Abilene, he has served more than 25 years on the Board of the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and Hospice of the Big Country.
A model of faithfulness and commitment, Fareed has been responsible to compassionately administer Salvation Army assistance through the Stamford Service Unit for more than 55 years.
“I first got involved with The Salvation Army after Bob Estes, a former scout leader of mine, secured a position with the Army and asked me to help with the local unit,” said Fareed. “At that time I didn’t know a great deal about the organization other than the fact that they helped lots of people.”
On average, around 20 people a month seek assistance from The Salvation Army in Stamford. “I am a strong believer that people need to learn to help themselves,” said Fareed. “We don’t pay rent and utility assistance but will help with just about everything else including food, medicine, gas, school clothes, and lodging.”
“You have to help people when they’re hungry. I’ve helped one lady several times who has made some bad decisions in the past and was incarcerated,” said Fareed. “Upon release she came to Stamford and is living in a garage. I recently took her some blankets and food. I do whatever I can to help.”
For the last 12 years Fareed has organized volunteers to support the Red Kettle campaign at Christmastime in Stamford, raising an average of $7,000 each year. He lists sending young people to summer camp as one of the most impactful services to the community. “The children return home with great stories and always have a wonderful time,” said Fareed.
Since having a heart bypass operation 31 years ago, Fareed has walked two miles every day and in more than 27 of those years only missed three days. “My walking is my quiet time and prayer time,” he said. His prayer list is five pages long and takes him about 55 minutes to complete.
The Salvation Army and the many thousands of people who have received assistance over the years, are indebted to Fareed for his selfless dedication to serve others.
“In my actions, I try to focus on God’s love, to be patient and to listen to what God would have me to do instead of depending on myself for guidance,” said Fareed. “My desire every day is to do something to help someone’s life.”