Christmas lunch fills stomachs and hearts at The Salvation Army - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Christmas lunch fills stomachs and hearts at The Salvation Army

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

 

Christmas music, Christmas food, and the Christmas spirit were all present at The Salvation Army Christmas day lunch in Tyler.

"It's just amazing just to see all of the people here that normally wouldn't have a place to get nothing to eat," says Gary Smith, an employee at The Salvation Army.

Smith says he knows what it's like to have nowhere to go.

"I was once in the same position that they was in and to help someone means a lot to me, that keeps me going," says Smith.

Giving back is also what keeps Angela Elder going. She says creating a Christmas atmosphere and providing a hot meal means a lot to the people here.

"There's a lot of families you know that do not have anybody and we make them feel like they do have somebody and we make them feel like they're at home," Elder says, an employee at The Salvation Army.

Meanwhile, Betty Flores made sure there was no shortage of Christmas cheer at the lunch.

"I like to go out and encourage the people and that's a beautiful job because when I encourage the other folks I encourage myself too," says Flores, a Salvation Army missionary. 

Several little helpers pitched in too, a gesture many here appreciate.

"I've been here before and you know they just have the giving spirit in their hearts," says Londale Green, a volunteer.

Green says he is thankful for the time the Salvation Army spends on putting meals like this together and organizers say there was a clear meal winner.

"Cake! The little kids, most of them it's cake," Smith says.

Others weren't focused on food.

"The day is still young and I've got presents to give out and I'm excited," says Rebecca Bond, who came to eat at the Christmas lunch. 

At the end of the meal 600 people had been served and most left with not just a full stomach, but a full heart.

The Salvation Army says they started preparing the Christmas day meal at six o'clock in the morning. 

34 volunteers and several Salvation Army employees made the meal possible. 

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