Students with No Place To Go, Celebrate Together

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy with family, but many Latino and international students couldn't afford to travel home for the holiday.

"My family is from Brownsville, Texas, which is a border town close to Mexico. Because of a shortage of money. I can't go home," said MSU student David Treviño.

"I'm from Florida and my family is there for thanksgiving," said MSU student Dianali Briones.

Msu students and staff funraised for weeks in order to serve a turkey dinner at an event called "homies-giving."

"We would go door to door, from department to department asking for money to fundraise for different foods," Juan Flores, a 'Homies-Giving' organizer.

Organizers received generous checks and food donations making this year's event the largest yet. They had an abundance of food at the Spartan Community Center including fifteen turkeys and fifteen pies.
The event started eight years ago with one lonely MSU student.

"It was my freshman year. I had many thoughts going through my head. I didn't have any money," said 'Homies-Giving' founder Felipe Lopez-Sustaita as he remembered his first Thankgiving at MSU.

As a migrant worker and the youngest of 8, Lopez-Sustaita had no money to go home or buy food during the school break. He said he couldn't turn to his family for help.

"I starved. I remeber those four days clearly. I wanted to drop out. I knew other people that felt the same way," said Lopez-Sustaita.

After 2 years, Lopez-Sustaita decided to start 'Homies-Giving' his junior year. He has returned to MSU every year since graduation to make sure every student enjoys Thanksgiving.


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  • by Gary Location: Okemos on Nov 27, 2010 at 05:58 AM
    This is an inspirational story about some terrific students and MSU alumni who at this busy time of year--when they could understandably be exclusively occupied with their studies, friends and family--are working to feed others and provide a sense of community on Thanksgiving Day. Year after year they make this sacrifice and provide a place for students without an easily accessible home on this special American holiday. Thank you WILX for shining some attention on these great students (and alumni)---most of whom are Chicano/Hispanic and many of whom are members of the Organization for Latino Social Workers--- and this special story. Go Green!
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