POSTED: Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 3:44pm
UPDATED: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 3:11pm
BATON ROUGE (NBC33) — Being with family is common at Christmas, as was the case at Society of St. Vincent de Paul Sunday, but some families were there to volunteer and other families in need of basic necessities like a hot meal and warm clothes.
"A lot of guests coming in literally have nothing," said Michael Acaldo, President of Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Volunteers numbered in the dozens, young and old, out to help any way they could.
"I know there's people less fortunate and i wanted to help," said 15-year-old Juan Coston. "Just help out anybody I can, spread Christmas cheer, anything."
The Christmas dinners are a tradition and will continue, as the long numbers of those in need remain.
"Because on Christmas, a lot of people have nothing to eat, nowhere to go, sleeping under a bridge," said Josephine Lee, who eats here every year. "And they will have a place to get a meal on Christmas and that's a blessing."
For the first time ever, with the help of donations, St. Vincent de Paul opened a Christmas store, giving away gifts, that a lot of 12-year olds, may take for granted.
"I got a toothbrush and gloves," said 12-year-old Koty Smith. "For the cold days, you know."
Seeds of the next generation of generosity are being sewn. Helped in part by parents, instilling that value to their children as young as ten.
"My mom told me to come," said 10-year-old Ben Calmes. "And I want to help people without a home or a lot of money and stuff."