Gannon Students Give Thanks by Giving Back - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Gannon Students Give Thanks by Giving Back

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It's the season to be thankful, and at Gannon University, giving thanks means giving back.

"Everyone's hearts are just bursting to give, and to share," said Jessie Badach-Hubert of Gannon's Center for Social Concern.

Fulfilling that desire to give isn't only about donating money or food, it's a gift of time, too.

Student groups got together to create holiday baskets to bring to local refugee families.

"A lot of our clients that come to the Erie community may come from third world countries, and they might not have a whole lot," said Makayla Watson of Catholic Charities.

A lot of care and creativity went into creating the baskets for the refugees, and as students offered them to the families, they practiced the true spirit of Thanksgiving; welcoming newcomers and sharing what they have.

Even though some refugees might not be familiar with Thanksgiving, they certainly felt its spirit through the student's generosity.

"In my country we don't have gifts," said Al Subji, a refugee from Iraq who came to Erie two months ago with her husband and two young daughters. "I'm really surprised and so happy for it."

Students from the Activities Program Board delivered their basket to Subji's family. The generosity of strangers since the family arrived in Erie, makes them feel at home.

"You are really good people, very kind, and we are really surprised at that," said Subji. "Like in this country everybody respects humans, like we just feel human, you know."

Seeing the families joy was payback tenfold for students Pamela Harrington and Nicole McAllister.

"Just that 15 minutes that we had with them completely changed my outlook on giving and just like how us students can just take time out of our day... it means so much," said Harrington.

"We don't know what they've come from, how their lives have been impacted before they came here, so just even as students, taking out a little bit of time to welcome them and making them feel at home... that's what they need," said McAllister.

If you want to donate to refugee families too, or volunteer your time, click here.

Submit your event now
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