Longview needy treated to Christmas dinner - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Longview needy treated to Christmas dinner

By Bob Hallmark bhallmark@kltv.com

LONVIEW, TX (KLTV) - They are the changing face of the needy in Gregg County, old, young and in between.

"To me, it's a blessing and I'm really blessed to be around and see Christmas again" says Longview resident Suzie Hagger.

Christmas dinner complete with all the trimmings, for many who had only the clothes on their backs. For Tennessee native Robert Braden, recovering from alcoholism, it is his first Christmas dinner ever.

"I grew up in foster homes and group homes a lot, and I bounced around a lot. I've been in alcohol and drugs all my life, this is my very first Christmas because I'm clean and sober," he says.

At 41 he's had a new start at Hiway 80, and getting a true feeling of the Christmas spirit.

"Its every bit of it and more. I'm learning everyday, we're here to help each other, we're here to love each other, to show love and compassion when someone's down/" Robert says.

A chance to have full stomachs instead of hunger, and togetherness instead of loneliness. 

"I'm glad to be here with ya'll cause ya'll like a family," says Hagger.

Robert Braden plans on becoming a counselor to help others recovery from homelessness and substance abuse. Over 200 meals were served at the mission Thursday and 450 were delivered to needy in the community. 

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