Families come together to celebrate the holiday at Durham Rescue Mission

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The women and children at the Durham Rescue Mission celebrated Christmas Eve together with food, gifts and a lot of love.

For many kids it's a special day, but for Ziona and her family, it's extra special.

"I love Christmas," Ziona Farris said.

"When there was Christmases where they didn't get anything, I was just emotional and crying. So to see the overflow of love that they get at the Durham Rescue Mission, it really changed my life," Unike Bankhead said.

It's been almost two years since Unike decided to leave her broken home in Ohio and move across the country with her girls to Durham Rescue Mission's Samaritan Inn.

"It really showed me that one day, that one decision it changed my whole life coming up here. And it didn't just change my life, it changed my kids' lives," Bankhead said.

Bankhead and her girls spent Christmas Eve alongside the other woman and children who have become their family, eating brunch and celebrating the holiday and enjoying their gifts, but this year they've also been given a gift they can't unwrap.

"Hope...it showed me that all you have to do is have hope," Bankhead said.

This Christmas Bankhead said she's thankful she was able to finish her GED. And she's looking forward to the New Year because she's already enrolled in college.
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