Triangle residents take advantage of unseasonably warm weather on Christmas

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Moore Square in downtown Raleigh was busy Saturday afternoon, with the warm weather drawing people out.

"Me and my mom (have) been here like 15, 16 years. And we've seen it go up, and we've seen it go down. And we just want to play a part in giving back to the people who deserve it, the less fortunate. It's hard out here," said DeAndre Holmes.

Holmes, joined by his wife Renee and mom Rhoza Lee, handed out homemade lasagna, potatoes, green beans, and garlic bread to about 50 people.

"We see a lot of tears. We see a lot of heartache. We see a lot of disappointment. We see a lot of people crying because they don't have their families. They don't necessarily say they're homeless, but they talk about their losses. I lost my job, or I lost my family, I lost my community, I lost my health, things of that nature. We see a lot of men crying because they're providers because they want to take care of themselves and their family. And when you feel like you can't take care of your family, it can make you feel hopeless. So we just want to come brighten up their day," said Rhoza Lee.

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The trio did the same on Thanksgiving, and plan to collect clothing donations.

"In these areas, they know we're coming. They know we're going to show up. We're going to be diligent, we're going to be faithful. But above all, we're going to express the fact that they are important just like we are," said Lee.

Temperatures hit the low 70's, something Alejandro Contreras's family visiting from Venezuela is used to.

"It's amazing. I haven't seen them in six years. Can you believe that? So it's like the best Christmas present ever, I could ever get. So I feel blessed," said Contreras, who moved to the United States to pursue a culinary career and now owns Tepuy Doughnuts.

He explained the pandemic lengthened their time apart.

"They were stuck in Venezuela at the (beginning of the pandemic). The border was closed. So they couldn't even get out of the country. And same here. So hopefully it won't (happen) again with the new variant," said Contreras.

Contreras plans on showing his family the area's parks and restaurants, and taking his young cousin Marti, who spent part of the day on an electronic scooter, to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

"(I'm) very happy," said Marti.
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