VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Christmas Day is a special time to help others, but all week long the city of Virginia Beach and faith leaders are working together to help the homeless.
It’s in the form of a Winter shelter program, called the Winter Shelter Christmas 2019.
On Christmas morning, volunteers opened the doors at The Gathering at Scott Memorial United Methodist Church, in Virginia Beach.
From Dec. 21-27, the church and volunteers are providing a place for homeless adults to sleep and eat.
At least 60 people had a full day of meals—bacon and eggs for breakfast, a bag lunch and dinner on Christmas and the weekend.
“We do this (feed those in need) every week, but this week we get to do it every single day," said Pastor Stephanie Parker.
Parker said she takes time to talk to those they’re helping because she wants to hear their stories, even if it’s tough.
“It breaks my heart, for sure," said Parker.
William Springs helps through his role as the Resident Service Worker at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center.
“My being here helps them to transition into permanent housing,” said Springs.
Together everyone is doing their part, with some volunteers coming from the church.
Volunteer Tim Wright said it’s the perfect day to help others, “and that it’s Christ’s birthday, it’s like bingo."
"This is the day. You can’t miss this day. It’s like game time,” he said.
Other volunteers traveled a long way to give back including Janrey Javier.
“All of the way from Boston,” said Javier.
He and his family found the Winter Shelter Christmas on Facebook.
Javier said his family wanted to give back a little bit to the Virginia Beach community and say "thank you for being so hospitable to us."
It’s that hospitality that people are paying forward on Christmas Day with service and love.
“Our neighbor is not just the person who lives next door to us, but everyone in our community and so that call to love no matter what,” said Parker.