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Chelsea store owner helps small town celebrate July 4th

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 22:26:13-04

CHELSEA, Okla. — Chelsea, Oklahoma is a small town of less than 2,000 people the last time people were counted. There are a few stores and even fewer stop lights. Raj Parajuli and his brother Yuba bought one of those stores and called it Perfect Food And Gas.

“We do a little bit of stuff here and there,” Raj laughed.

In just two short years, they’ve turned the store into a community gathering place.

“Best people I’ve ever worked with,” said Teresa Owen, a store employee.

Born in Napal, Raj and his brother came to the U.S. about 15 years ago to live the American dream. In addition to the Chelsea store, they have three in Tulsa and one in Broken Arrow.

“We are part of this community,” Raj said. “We love being here.”

As a way to say thanks, the brothers help the community any way they can. When the police department needed money, they donated a penny for each gallon of gas sold during the April. Their good deed made headlines in the local paper.

“We feel like businesses got to be involved in the community as much as they can and they got to step up whenever it's needed,” Raj said.

When the pandemic forced local schools to close and kids weren’t getting the meals they needed, the brothers stepped in again.

“We said all the kids at Chelsea High School and the surrounding areas could come to the store to pick up sack lunches,” Raj said.

“If it wasn't for them, some of our school kids wouldn't have eaten,” Teresa said.

Now, with the pandemic effecting sales at the few local businesses in Chelsea, the Chamber of Commerce couldn’t raise the money for an American tradition – a July 4th Celebration.

So, guess who stepped in to foot the bill.

"We feel like Fourth of July this year is more important than any other year,” said Raj.

It’s an act very important to two brothers who proudly became American citizens just four years ago.

“We are very grateful to this country for what it has given us, for the opportunity for us to serve here, work here and make our life better,” Raj said. “So, that's why freedom has got to be celebrated.”

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