Meet two of the Light’s 2013 Unsung Heroes

Derek Cohn has spent more than a decade helping abandoned and abused dogs through Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Like a doctor on call, Cohn is called to help stray dogs wandering the streets or wounded on the side of the road. He worked with retailers to donate dog food to help fill ongoing needs for food at local animal shelters. His weekends are consumed with volunteer work at the shelter and on the road — many weeks he drives to Rolla to help transport animals on their journey to a new home. In addition, Cohn has spent 15 years spending Christmas Eve in a Santa Claus outfit, delivering gifts to children as part of the Santa’s Helpers program. 

Zubaida Ibrahimhas been a driving force in the interfaith community and worked closely with the Jewish Community Relations Council to develop the highly successful Muslim-Jewish Day of Service. The 2012 day of service brought together close to 600 volunteers on Dec. 25 for volunteer activities at numerous sites throughout St. Louis. A local Muslim, Ibrahim has been a longtime participant in interfaith dialogue groups and has  spoken at schools, churches and interfaith events about the similarities between faith groups and expressing the importance of interfaith unity in making our community stronger.