Muslims Spread Holiday Spirit in Hyde Park

November 22, 2006

Author: Esther J. Cepeda

Source: Chicago Sun-Times,CST-NWS-muslim22.article

There's a saying in the Islamic religion: "A person does not have true faith if they sleep comfortably on a full stomach while his neighbor suffers from hunger."

It embodies the spirit of charity and giving that will see almost 300 turkeys delivered to Emmett Louis Till Math and Science Academy in Hyde Park today.

A line of parents is expected to snake around the elementary school gymnasium to pick up one of the turkeys being donated by the American Muslims for Activism and Learning, a Chicago area community group.

Constance Gabb, a parent volunteer, has been overseeing the giveaway for four of the six years AMAL has been making the special deliveries. She said the popular program started small and has grown to provide the Thanksgiving centerpiece for about a third of the school's 860 students.

"Oh, they so appreciate it," said Gabb of the parents who'll line up early for today's pickup.

For many of the students, the donation makes their family Thanksgiving gatherings possible.