Liz Pearce is a communications professor at the University of Iowa. She said she has seen her students deal with the struggle with being sick, loosing a job and many other challenges that have come with COVID-19.
"I also think a lot of students are sad because the university is not really like they knew it before and I think there's a sense of loss," said Pearce.
Knowing that some of her students would not be able to travel this upcoming holiday and not wanting anyone to celebrate alone, she offered to cook and deliver a traditional Thanksgiving meal to anyone who needs it.
When one of her students, Leah Blask, received the email, she was overwhelmed with how kind the gesture was. She wanted to share the generosity with others, posting a screenshot of the email on Twitter.
"Iowa Nice, everyone wants to share the Iowa nice stories all the time. So, I think that a lot of people are really gonna like this. When I first read her email I was like, this is like the sweetest thing. Its such a selfless thing," said Blask.
To her surprise, the tweet went viral, with currently having over 600,000 likes and 49.4k retweets.
"I didn't tell her that I was going to tweet about it until it started to gain a lot more than I ever could have expected," said Blask.
Professor Pearce was also surprised by the social media attention.
"I was just blown away really. The thing that really affected me the most was that so many of the people who read it said it brought a tear to their eye. And I was happy that it touched people, but I felt kinda sad because I think we've had such a hard fall," said Pearce.
On the menu for Thursday is Turkey, stuffing, peas, apple pie and much more. And Professor Pearce will also have vegan options. But she is not doing it alone as her children are planning to help her.
So far, three of her students have taken her up on the offer, but she is hoping more people will reach out, including those who might not be on of her students.
"I sent the email out yesterday so I am hoping that a lot more people will respond. And even if people who are listening who are not in my class, I'll be happy to take food to them too. I think its a time to celebrate community even though were apart," said Pearce.
If you are interested in Professor Pearce's Thanksgiving cooking, you can send her an email here for more information.