JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Many people on the First Coast do not have a warm meal for the holidays. Hundreds of people are trying to change that by giving back on their Christmas Day to volunteer. Tuesday morning, in Jacksonville Beach at St. Paul's Catholic Church, the tables were set and the gymnasium was being turned into a banquet hall on Christmas Day.
More than 200 volunteers from across Florida came together to feed the homeless.
"To reach out to what the Bible calls 'the least of these,'" said Pastor Harry Divido of Light of The World Ministries. "To serve them, to feed them, to clothe them.'"
Robert Marks, of Ft. Lauderdale, came to the First Coast with his partner and decided to help.
"I guess because we come from very grateful homes," Marks said. "We figure the best way to stay grateful on a day like this is to give back to people who need it more than we do."
The tables were set for some 200 people living without a home. They get a hot meal, personal toiletries, clothing and even shoes. Not to mention the desserts.
Lucie Poirier brought her entire family to volunteer at the annual event.
"For me, it's an opportunity to show the love of Christ," Poirier said.
Outside, people eagerly awaited the holiday tradition.
"To me, that means the difference between Heaven and Hell," said Jason Kelley, who has lived without a home for 10 years.
On Christmas Day, volunteers were bridging the gap and giving back to the community. All the while hoping the people who filled the seats walked away with ...
"Love," Poirier said simply.
First Coast News