ST. LOUIS – As many enjoyed their Thanksgiving meals, a local Islamic organization ensured that dozens of Afghan refugees also received a hot meal this holiday.
It was the first Thanksgiving in America for over 150 Afghan refugees, and the Greater St. Louis Islamic Foundation made it a memory to remember.
âWe have been providing meals to Afghan refugees for nine days. Today is the ninth day, âsaid Lisa Grozdanic, who heads the foundation’s House of Goods program.
On Thursday, Grozdanic and several volunteers delivered a hot meal for each refugee and warm clothes. Over 150 hot meals were provided by Salam Market. Owner Hassan Sleem said they were supposed to be closed – but opened his kitchen so they could help.
âPeople need us. They need our help, âSleem said. âThey are starving. So we see it like this – if they need us, we have to step in. We have to help them, âSleem told FOX 2.
Refugee Sayed Abdali said he was grateful.
âWe are really grateful for the region, and in particular the Muslim and Islamic Foundation and the House of Goods,â Abdali said. “We need more help or wait for more support.”
Grozdanic said without their help the refugees would not have had a meal today. Some of them received coats today for the first time. She hopes other groups will step in to help her as well.
âIt’s an incredible feeling. This is what it is about, we as a community come together and do what needs to be done. These families needed help, and our community reached out and gave them the help they needed, âGrozdanic added.
The group visited 2 other hotels in the Saint Louis area on Thursday evening and helped 160 refugees in total.
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