Turning Tragedy to Action: Saez Family Gives Back - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Turning Tragedy to Action: Saez Family Gives Back

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MILTON, Del. - For the Saez family in Milton, it would be easy for them to feel like victims. That's because the three Saez children were suddenly orphaned after a fatal car accident killed their parents in June of 2013. However, instead, the family used this tragedy as fuel toward action.

"We're not letting it get us down," said daughter Shanel Dickens. "We still continue to do what we know we're supposed to do. What they raised us to do."

Dickens talked with WBOC on Tuesday morning in the bustling Milton Fire Hall, surrounded by dozens of other people. The room was full of the smell of chicken, corn and mac 'n cheese. On a nearby table, tray after tray of food was organized. When all was said and done Tuesday, the family gave out in between 900 and 1,000 platters of food to those in need.

The horrible accident took place in June of 2013 on South Dupont Boulevard, near Lincoln. It was there that Eduardo and Priscilla Saez lost their lives, at just 36-years old.

Despite all this adversity, the children bounced back on Tuesday morning to feed the Milton community that came to their support last June.

"They came out and helped us," Dickens said. "So it's only right to give back to the community. They stepped up. And did what needed to be done. When they saw that children needed help and needed someone to come and take care of them. And so now it's only right that we help out and give back to the ones who came out when we needed help."

Her brother Eduardo Jr. said that this whole event was about helping people, something his parents would have appreciated.

"My parents would always keep us close," he said. "The entire family close... They would be proud."

The youngest brother Daniel said that he hoped his parents were somewhere, looking down on their actions.

"I think they would be really happy," he said. "Because my brother and my sister are helping out the people who really need this food."

The brother of Eduardo Sr, Juan Saez said that he and his wife, Christina planned the event together. He said it's all about showing gratitude to the community that helped them through their difficult times.

"How can we give back," he asked. "How can we show the community that we appreciate every card that was sent, every donation that was given, every phone call that was sent, every text."

Christina said that she was amazed with the resiliency of the children, who despite all that's gone wrong, have remained positive.

"They're just great," she said. "They're great kids. I look at them and just want to cry sometimes just because of how resilient they've been."

The event also received support from the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program in Sussex County. AVID is a fourth through twelfth grade system to prepare students for four-year college eligibility. Dozens of students from the Cape Henlopen School District were in attendance at the event.

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