Nearly 100 Served Christmas Dinner at Volunteers of America

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

It was Christmas dinner and the 90 people gathered at Volunteers of America were dining Christmas night, but the sad reality is, for many of them, Christmas isn't much different than any other day.

Carrie Whittington has dined in this room at Volunteers of America before. It is, perhaps, that familiarity that makes her first Christmas in the shelter all the more difficult.

"Yes it is," she said. "Very difficult."

Still, Whittington's grateful for a place to stay -- and food to eat.

"It's a great lifesaver. Honestly, it is," she said.

Food for those 90 people -- just about the same number of people that come here in need of food every day.

Christmas night, it was served by staff and plenty of volunteers.

"Lots," chef Kym Whitehead said. "Like 13, 15 people."

Some of those volunteers have been coming for a decade.

"We keeping coming back because you see the joy you bring to people," one volunteer told us. "It's a couple hours out of every day and it makes a difference in someone's life."

What would make even more of a difference in their lives is a permanent place to stay. That's something Andrew John is hoping will be a belated Christmas present this year.

"I was in great need of housing and I'm being blessed with housing as we speak," he said.

John is hoping to complete the paperwork to move into an apartment of his own within a few weeks.

It's a move he hopes will lead to more stable work and perhaps, Christmas in 2007 spent under his own roof.


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