This Christmas, dozens of volunteers woke up bright and early to deliver a holiday meal to more than 400 elderly Central Texans.
A gift that brings as much joy to those giving as it does to those who are receiving. For seniors not spending the holiday with family and friends, the Meals on Wheels and More organization made it a point to bring the holiday cheer to them. Each meal not only filled their stomach's but their hearts.
It's not a gift under the tree that Lee Thigpen was waiting to receive this Christmas, it was a gift delivered right to his front door.
"It's just wonderful. I look at it as God sent his angels in," says Lee Thigpen, Meals on Wheels and More client.
Those angels being the Kallison family, who have volunteered on Christmas for the past four years.
"We realize that we just have to find the joy in every day and he clearly does. It's great to be able to become part of his life for a few minutes," says Jo Kallison, Meals on Wheels and More volunteer.
Thigpen and his wife have been inseparable since they were 15; recently she had to be admitted into a rehabilitation center. That's not keeping them from having Christmas dinner tonight; an extra meal was delivered just for that reason.
"I'm planning to go see my wife later on. I had hoped she would have been home by Christmas but they kept her out there," says Lee Thigpen, Meals on Wheels and More client.
It was 10 years ago when Meals on Wheels and More first decided to deliver on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Today more than 50 volunteers helped deliver 420 meals.
"When we started, we thought we would have a hard time getting volunteers. Frankly now, you've got to sign up about four months in advance if you want to get a volunteer slot to deliver meals. That just speaks to the willingness of this community, to volunteer and help their neighbors in need," says Dan Pruett, president & CEO, Meals on Wheels and More.
Thigpen's energetic personality helps families remember why it's important to give back.
"The joy and kindness that they are giving to us surpasses what we feel like we're trying to give to them. It's definitely a very rewarding things and we love our clients," says Jo Kallison, Meals on Wheels and More volunteer.
Thigpen is young at heart but what he's learned throughout the years shines through.
"I'll tell you, when I was a little boy I was a boy scout and I always helped the elder people, helped them any way I could. It's coming back to me. What you do when you're young, it will come back to you when you get old," says Lee Thigpen, Meals on Wheels and More client.
Meals on Wheels and More does not deliver on New Year's but will make sure they provide each client with a meal ahead of time.