Join PAAIA Chapters to Celebrate Thanksgiving, Persian Style!

PAAIA invites you to join us to celebrate Thanksgiving by participating in a Persian Thanks event in your area.

To do good as a community on this most American of American holidays is our way of showing that we are grateful to have a home away from our ancestral homeland, that we care, and that we want to share our cultural heritage with those in need.

Persian Thanks is a PAAIA program that embraces American culture — Persian style. Starting in 2010, PAAIA began mobilizing our Chapters nationwide to donate cash, canned foods, clothing and hygiene items to homeless shelters on Thanksgiving Day–or on any day during the week- with the hope that “Persian Thanks Week” would become an Iranian American tradition.

Since then, PAAIA and Persian Thanks have made a better Thanksgiving possible for thousands of individuals through the United States by collecting funds and food and clothing items and serving both traditional American and Persian foods at homeless shelters and kitchens nationwide.

We continue this heartwarming tradition this year. Please take the time to join PAAIA members in Houston, the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York to take part in Persian Thanks.


As noted by ABC News in Houston, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, several Iranian American organizations have joined hands to offer two opportunities to give back to Houstonians in need. The Association of Iranian American Professionals (AIAP), Iranian Cultural Foundation (ICF), Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), Shabeh Jomeh, and the Society of Iranian American Women for Education (SIAWE) have been accepting donations for “Search Homeless Services” this past week. They are still accepting the following donations at Armond Bakery & Café (12151 Westheimer Rd. #L, Houston, Texas 77077) during their business hours.

Items accepted for Donation to “Search Homeless Services”

  • Monetary Donation: Write your check directly to “SEARCH HOMELESS SERVICES” and a tax receipt will be mailed to you by them.
  • Canned Food Drive: Canned Meats & Fish, Hearty Soups, Juices, Cereal, Applesauce, Crackers, Beef Jerky, Powdered Milk, and Granola Bars.
  • Clothing Drive: Unused or gently used clothing (washed and ironed) for men/women and children (Jackets, Sweaters and new Socks are preferred).
  • Hygiene Drive: Toothbrushes, Razors, Shaving Cream, Deodorants, Body Soap, Shampoo/ Conditioners, Hand Sanitizer and Feminine Hygiene Products.
  • Toys: New and gently used items

The organizations will also come together to volunteer at the City Wide Club’s 34th Annual Thanksgiving Big Feast at the George R. Brown Convention Center on the morning of Thanksgiving Day (November 22, 2012). Every year, volunteers at the feast serve over 35,000 traditional meals to families on Thanksgiving. Volunteers will receive a free “Persian Thanksgiving” T-shirt and certificates of attendance will be provided for students. For more information, visit citywideclub.com.

Bay Area

This year’s Persian Thanks in the Bay Area will be composed of two separate events. On November 20, 2012, a group of PAAIA volunteers will be organizing and distributing food at the Samaritan House and are encouraging others to join them. The event details are as follows:

The Samaritan House
320 Harbor Blvd Belmont, CA
12 – 4 pm

PAAIA Bay area will also be volunteering in the southern Bay area at a later date. Details are still to be determined.


PAAIA Chicago will be volunteering at “Thanksgiving Feed the Needy,” working with both Alderman Will Burns and Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle. The event details are as follows:

Thanksgiving Day November 22, 2012
Prince Hall Grand Lodge
809 E. 42nd Place
10 am to 12 pm

PAAIA Chicago is also raising money for the Quad Communities Development Corporation, an organization that is helping to fund the meals.

For more information about PAAIA Chicago’s plans, please contact Samira Jali at chicagochapter@ or 847.404.8518.

New York

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and in the spirit of PAAIA’s Persian Thanks Program, PAAIA NexGen New York partnered with IAAB and a coalition of community organizations to aid in the relief effort. On Saturday, November 17th at 11:00AM, interested volunteers gathered at the main Occupy Sandy distribution center in Clinton to organize and distribute the donated goods to those who have been impacted by Sandy.

If you missed the opportunity to volunteer and would still like to help in some way, consider donating to Occupy Sandy relief efforts. As of November 19, 2012, the following items are needed by Occupy Sandy Recovery Initiative: AAA batteries, air mattresses, borax, canned/boxed juice, canned/non-perishable food, carbon monoxide detectors, cleaning liquids and supplies, cough drops (adult), crowbars, headlamps, flashlights, heavy duty contractor trash bags, milk, peroxide, pink spray paint, sponges and rags, white vinegar, and work gloves. They no longer need any diapers, bleach, or clothing.

We thank you for your support of and contribution to Persian Thanks and hope that you will take an active part in these events. If you are interested in implementing Persian Thanks in your area in the future, please contact Adrienne@ for more information.

We, at PAAIA, wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Holiday!

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