Tis the season for giving

December 23, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
On Christmas Eve, hundreds of the homeless in the Capital City got a helping hand. At Newbern House near downtown, many who are suffering in these tough economic times got a free Christmas meal. Before dawn, the cooks were already in the kitchen. And other volunteers gave up a slice of their time to serve up a meal.

"I definitely see that there's more people in need. And we need the people that are more blessed and more fortunate -- need to come out and lend a helping hand," offered volunteer Debbie Williams.

That's why Williams spent some of her day a the house, and it's why folks brought bags and bags full of toys and games. Others donated coats and clothes.

Those who organize the annual holiday meal for Raleigh's homeless say some who gave in years past have to receive now.

"The donations are down. They're coming in, but they're coming in very slow. A lot of people that helped last year are needing help this year. The economy has really affected," said Nathan Harley.

Tonia Diggs was one of those hurting. She was there not just here for the meal. She's staying at Newbern House, along with grandson Jerrel, for the time being. She was grateful for not only warm food, but the warmth of those helping her out.

"If I was in better times here myself, I would be here helping too. It's good. It makes me feel so good," she said.


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