Muslim group donates turkeys to needy families

November 12, 2009 10:56:26 AM PST
Hundreds of families whose children attend Emmett Till Elementary School are getting a free Thanksgiving bird thanks to a community organization. At a time when food budgets are strained, a semitrailer loaded with turkeys is being given to families at Emmett Till Elementary School. The frozen turkeys are a gift from the Chicago Area's Muslim Community.

"It's just a gesture of neighborliness from the Muslim community of Chicago. You know most of us work here, live here, live our lives here," said Dr. Shoshara.

The school, located near 63rd and Cottage Grove, was selected because 99-percent of the population is below the poverty line. For many of the families, it's a real treat.

"Well they probably would have had the usual. McDonalds meals or whatever they could afford," said Mary Rodgers, principal Emmett Till Elementary School. "This is exceptionally nice."

It's the eighth time the group has donated to a Chicago school.

"I'm just glad to get this turkey. It's less for me to worry about," said one parent.

"Means a lot. Put some in our freezer and some in our stomach," said another.

After the September Eleventh attacks, the image of Muslim Americans took a terrible hit. That damage has yet to be repaired, but events like this are a step in the right direction.

"I think a lot of problems we have as a community (are) that we haven't been here very long so it takes awhile to integrate and get to know the Muslim community. It's one way to show what we think is the best part of our religion. To help serve the poor," said Dr. Shoshara.


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