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Hundreds of volunteers spend Christmas helping Salt Lake's refugee population

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Some, who don't even celebrate Christmas, are giving back today helping hundreds of refugee families in the Salt Lake Valley.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Some, who don't even celebrate Christmas, are giving back today helping hundreds of refugee families in the Salt Lake Valley.

Chris Newell and her daughter are just two of the hundreds of volunteers who spent their holiday handing out boxes of food, clothing and other necessities to refugees and other at risk populations. The project called Shalom Salaam Tikkun Olam is spearheaded by members of the Islamic and Jewish communities. This year it’s headquartered at West High since a large number of refugees attend the school.

Newell said, "It's an opportunity for us to give back to our community to the students of west high and their families."

It wouldn't be possible without the hundreds of volunteers who spent their Christmas day preparing, organizing and delivering the packages.

Bob Hoffa said, "We're all in this together. It's great to have this diversity in our community to be able to welcome folks have and really embrace them as part of the greater salt lake community."

The group is hoping to serve over 100 refugee families, close to 500 seniors and two battered women's shelters. The volunteers say this kind of service is what Christmas is truly about.

"We live abundant lives in this country and the way that we make value with what we have is the way we share it with others,” explained Newell.
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