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Interfaith volunteers bring holiday treats, necessities to seniors, refugee families

Posted at 5:56 PM, Dec 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-25 22:52:37-05

(KSTU) — While most spent the morning receiving, hundreds of volunteers spent their Christmas giving.

Scott Klepper and Eileen Hallet Stone organized the event "Shalom, Salaam, Tikuun Olam" years ago.

“It kind of all started years ago when the Jewish community and the Muslim community got together to take over St. Vincent de Paul on Christmas day and let the workers, give the workers a day off to celebrate Christmas,” Klepper said.

Twenty-seven years later the effort has evolved. These volunteers from all different faiths and backgrounds spent the past two days packing boxes full of necessities and holidays treats at West High School to give to more than 500 home bound seniors and nearly 100 refugee families.

“We have everybody of all cultures, of all religions, and non-religions, and just what they come with is a good heart and a willingness to help others,” Stone said.

They're not just packing them, they're hand delivering them.

Fox 13 was there as volunteers welcomed these refugee families to America, while learning about their culture. Christopher Ninahazinna from Tanzania was one of the grateful family members.

“You’re free and they help you out to make you feel good in Utah,” Ninahazinna said.