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Newport News organization provides free meals this Christmas Eve

Peninsula Rescue Mission offered a free meal to anyone who needs it or is dealing with homelessness on Christmas Eve

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — As a show of support this Christmas, one organization in Newport News is offering a free meal to the less fortunate. 

Volunteers with Peninsula Rescue Mission spent their Christmas Eve giving back.

“Well, our hope is just for them to understand that they are loved,” explained Faith DeFriese.

DeFriese and her husband Alan run the Peninsula Rescue Mission in Newport News. Every day, they provide three hot meals and shelter to men in need. On Christmas Eve, they offered a free meal to anyone who needs it or is dealing with homelessness.

DeFriese said, “No matter how hard things are, they matter. They have a purpose and people care.“

More than a dozen people volunteered their time on Tuesday to prepare dinner.

“It’s about impacting people’s hearts. It’s not just about a plate of food. It’s about hope and joy and love,” explained DeFriese.

The mission served shrimp, scallops and ham. Most of the volunteers said they make this event an annual family tradition.

“13 years, that’s how long I’ve been doing this,” explained long-time volunteer Tifani Wood. “Everyone deserves a great home-cooked meal at Christmas no matter where you are in life.”

Those who got the free meal said they appreciate the love and friendship.

“They always come in and say thank you and it’s like you deserve this,” Wood said.