Give more than a turkey: Syracuse student-athletes host a turkey giveaway for Tops on Jefferson Avenue

On the eve of the 6th anniversary of the Tops shooting, students from Syracuse University traveled to Buffalo to give back ahead of the holiday season.

BUFFALO, NY – They say giving is the best gift of all.

“We felt like it was kind of our obligation, as athletes here at Syracuse University. We have this privilege to do that,” Syracuse track runner Emanuel Joseph said. .

That’s why student-athletes from Syracuse University made the two-hour trip to Buffalo on Sunday afternoon for a gift of turkey — to give back to those in East Buffalo who feel a part of them is missing. this holiday season.

“People will be looking at tables and chairs that are missing and missing loved ones who were impacted in the aftermath of the mass shooting,” said Bethel AME Pastor Paul Thomas, who helped plan the event. . “This way of showing love helps add a bit of medicine to it.”

That love is even more needed now, as the community remembers the 10 lives lost six months ago on Monday.

Tragedy has touched these athletes – some a mile away as much as those 4,000 miles away.

“It’s a tragedy that happened, but the community has been affected for much longer. He’s obviously still impacted by that,” said Luisa Gathmann, a Syracuse rower from Germany.

Buffalo native rower Reilly Eagan added, “I was very excited to support. It was very encouraging to me that even my community in Syracuse was willing to reach out and lend Buffalo a helping hand.

The helping hand hasn’t gone unnoticed, as those who came to pick up their turkeys said the gesture will ensure they have the happiest time of the year despite everything they’ve had to overcome to get here.

“We need to have more people like that in this world,” said Andrea Barnett, a Buffalo resident in attendance. “We need to have more givers than takers, we really do, because if those who gave gave, no one would need.”