PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A very special Thanksgiving celebration took place in Society Hill Sunday afternoon.
It was the first ever Thanksgiving meal for most in attendance. Over 100 newly-arrived refugees and immigrants from all over the world celebrated Thanksgiving at the Old Pine Community Center.
Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving fare, meals representing the culinary traditions of the immigrants was served.
Mayor Jim Kenney was in attendance to welcome the refugees.
“The pilgrims were immigrants and refugees,” Kenney said. “And they came to North America that had already been settled by Native Americans, and they needed help. The first Thanksgiving prior to that, they were starving to death and the Native Americans were the ones who saved their lives so I think we’re doing the same thing here. We’re trying to save people’s lives.”
The meal was provided by Hias Pennsylvania, Philadelphia’s largest refugee settlement agency. This year alone, they’ve helped more than 3,000 immigrants in the United States.
Sunday marked the 10th annual Refugee Thanksgiving Celebration.