Family Learns Valuable Lesson Through Volunteering - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Family Learns Valuable Lesson Through Volunteering

While hundreds of Christmas meals were served to those less fortunate at places like the Salvation Army in Tyler, none of it could be accomplished without the help of volunteers.  Both young and old, the Salvation Army says volunteers are an important part of serving others.

One East Texas family is hoping that message is spread, through their example.

The Desmond family spends Christmas morning a little different than most.  A few years back they decided, instead of opening gifts, they would spend the day serving others.

"Of course we've got a large family and we were talking about it one year with the kids and we thought you know it would be good to do something on Christmas with the whole family," said Chuck Desmond.

That something turned out to be serving meals to those less fortunate at the Salvation Army.  With five children ranging in age from 5-18, you would think convincing them to give up their Christmas would be tough.  Mom says that's not the case here.

"They really love coming down here in fact they were the ones that asked 'Are we going to the Salvation Army this year?' they love this." said Lee Desmond.

Daughter Davy says, that wasn't always so, but they've learned to enjoy the work.

"I think there were probably some grumbles but after you get here you start serving and you just forget about being home and not doing anything and coming out you can serve people and give unto others... so it's a good thing," said Davy Desmond, 18.

Dad hopes that's the message his kids and those around them take from Christmas.

"They understood from an early age, we tried to teach them, that Christmas is more than about what I can get it's what I can give and so this is a way that we wanted to instill that value and give back to the community and they could do something really neat," said Chuck.

The kids say, through volunteering, they've learned a valuable lesson.

"Just how to share, Christmas isn't just about yourself, and how you can give a Christmas to another person through the Salvation Army," said Alyx Desmond, 13.

A gift worth more than anything they could ever get under a tree.  The Desmonds joined about 150 other volunteers, helping serve meals.  The family says they hope to continue the tradition in the future.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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