A group of Gambian immigrants donated 20 boxes of Domino’s pizza to health care workers this week.

The Gambian Organisation of Reading PA is a nonprofit whose aim is to educate, promote, enlighten and bring awareness of the contributions Gambians make to Reading and Berks County.

“We wanted to thank the health care workers,” said John Joof, secretary general of the group.

Members contribute to a fund and every few months they make a collective charitable donation. This summer it was to Tower Health in recognition of the health care workers who are on the frontlines of the coronarvirus pandemic.

There are about 80 Gambians living in Berks, the group says.

In October, they took steps toward establishing a formal presence in the civic and social service network to bind them together.

The hope was that they could play a larger role in the community and their number continues to grow, Joof said. 

Some are Muslim and others Christians.

It is not uncommon for Muslim and Christian members to gather and conduct their respective religious rites under the same roof during a meeting, or family reunion.

They call Gambia the smiling coast of Africa.

Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa, surrounded by Senegal on three sides and the Atlantic Ocean on the west.

It consists mainly of the northern and southern banks of the Gambia River. 

They greet one another with wide smiles, handshakes and hugs.

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