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Doolittle gives holiday gift to Syrian refugees

A's reliever, girlfriend help share Thanksgiving

A's pitcher Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend, Eireann Dolan, spent the night before Thanksgiving hosting Syrian refugees for a holiday meal in Chicago.

Along with 17 Syrian refugee families, the party was also attended by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Edward Burke. Dolan posted photos of the event on her Instagram account, several of which featured attendees holding up handwritten notes thanking the couple for their generosity.

"Chicago is so lucky to have 17 Syrian refugee families now officially calling it home," Dolan wrote on Instagram. "We thought we'd officially welcome them with one of our greatest American traditions, Thanksgiving. Thank you to Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Burke for joining the party!"

Wednesday's dinner was just the latest in a long list of charitable acts performed by Doolittle and Dolan. Earlier this year, Dolan bought an unspecified number of tickets for Oakland's "Pride Night" game on June 17, strictly to donate them to the Bay Area Youth Center's Our Space community for LGBTQ youth.

As if that wasn't enough, she also started a GoFundMe page in an attempt to continue raising money for the event. Together with Doolittle, they pledged to match up to $3,000 in donations, a total that was exceeded shortly after the page was posted. The fundraising attempt ultimately raised a grand total of $38,678.

Doolittle, a first-round pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, has been a mainstay in the Oakland community for years. He supports a number of charities, including the A's Community Fund, Palo Alto VA Hospital, Walter Reed Hospital and Freedom Alliance. Doolittle also started "A's Relief" in 2013, an organization intended to honor local heroes and Good Samaritans from the Bay Area.

Doolittle also has appeared at a number of team charity events, such as the A's annual "Bowling Bash" event, as well as previous holiday food drives. His willingness to help others has helped him earn the designation each of the last two years as the team's nominee for the Branch Rickey Award, which is a "nationally prestigious and coveted honor that recognizes professionals in Major League Baseball for exceptional community service."

Paul Casella is a reporter for
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