Businessman Gives Back at Thanksgiving

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SCRANTON -- Dozens of families in Scranton will have a happy Thanksgiving because a businessman is repaying the kindness he received in his adopted hometown.

Box after box is stacked up at the Youth for Christ center on Jackson Street in Scranton -- 120 boxes in all. In each box is a turkey and all the sides meant for families in need at Thanksgiving.

Sarah Van Buren of Scranton is one of the recipients.

"So, if you didn't have this, what kind of Thanksgiving would you have? None," said Van Buren.

Sarah is retired, and she made sure to say thank you before she headed home.

The feast was donated by Sergio Elejalde. He lives in New York now. He used to live in Scranton, and at one time was a man in need, a Thanksgiving free food recipient himself. Thanks to a successful real estate business, Elejalde was able to come back and give back.

"That's what it's all about. It's the season to give back," said Elejalde. "I just didn't want to pull up in a truck and start giving out turkeys in the street. I want to do it the right way."

For Elejalde, the right way was hooking up with Youth for Christ. It's an organization that has been helping at Thanksgiving for only a couple of years.

"I think it's important for people to see that there's organizations, and especially people who are concerned for other people, especially at this time of year," said Jerry Major, Youth for Christ.

Major says Youth for Christ works with teens and families in northeastern Pennsylvania, and he knows there is a big need for help like this. The value of this program is more than $3,000.

Sergio Elejalde's commitment to Scranton doesn't end here, doesn't end on Thanksgiving. He said he intends to be back next month, just before Christmas, to help give out toys to families in need.

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