Local group spreads Christmas cheer to the homeless - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Local group spreads Christmas cheer to the homeless

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While most children are playing with new gifts around a Christmas tree, this group is spreading the spirit of sharing.

One young man asked, "You need some socks?" "Yea," answered a homeless man. "Here you go man," the volunteer said.

Hailey Meeks and her Weeping Willow Baptist Church group drove 45 miles from McDade, Texas, to volunteer.

One woman exclaimed, "That is nice!" "We really didn't even have to get off the bus.  They came to us," added Hailey.

They came equipped with 60 blankets and say it took less than 15 minutes to completely run out.

Bettye Huff, with the church group, said, "One of the ladies gave up her blanket because one guy didn't get one.  That was impressing to me.  She said the Lord had told her to give that blanket."

"For fourteen years my entire family, since my kids were little, have been coming out on the streets, first thing, Christmas morning.  It's just the best," said Alan Graham, with Mobile Loaves and Fishes.

Graham says they visited 20 different locations around Austin, serving 1,500 meals.

"The trucks were loaded abundantly with...sausage and biscuits, fresh fruit, eggs, drinks, cookies, pastries," Graham added.

"I got two rolls.  It's all I got over here," yelled one volunteer.

13 trucks also carried blankets, clothes and other necessities to keep warm this winter.

 Another volunteer shouted, "We have another jacket."

"They're overlooking the stigma that has been placed on the homeless people," said Larry Berry, a homeless man.

Berry is just one of the many people thankful for Santa's helpers.

"In this kind of environment, you got to put your pride aside.  You have to.  If not, you're going to starve and you're going to get cold," said Berry.

"A lot of flavor.  A lot of love," said a volunteer serving hot plates.

"Thank you very much," said a homeless man in line.

Berry added, "Sometimes here at the ARCH...we have to go through a lottery system.  If you get a high number, you get to stay, but you don't get to eat and so this is an emergency batch."

Hailey said, "We all learned something from coming here, just to be grateful because we don't know if we're going to be out here and I just feel like it's really sad...sorry.  It's really sad that all these people have to go through this."

From adults to children, they all sacrificed to spread a little love this season.


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