Friends of the Homeless shelter serves Christmas dinner - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Friends of the Homeless shelter serves Christmas dinner

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Christmas dinner was served for more than 200 people Tuesday night at the Friends of the Homeless shelter.

"They want us to smile and make their Christmas as pleasing as possible," said Briana DeSouza, the weekend cook at the shelter.

DeSouza told CBS 3 that after working there for the last four months, the people are like family.

"It is pleasing to know that they like to see my face," DeSouza said. "They like to have a good conversation and a good time. They are here throughout the day with me. We just interact and try to make them smile. Make them forget that their situation is not that perfect."

"I just want to make people smile and have fun," said Bernadette Hannah, volunteering at the shelter for the first time Tuesday night.

Hannah was one of several volunteers on hand to serve dinner. She believes her effort is part of a much bigger picture.

"For me, the meaning of Christmas needs to be changed," said Hannah. "For too many people, it has become commercialized about the toys and the gifts. It is supposed to be about genuinely giving. So today, I decided I wanted to come and give a little bit back."

Give back because some day Hannah herself may need someone to return the favor.

"I am sure they are very appreciative of everyone that comes and helps," Hannah said. "It is about giving forward. In a year from now, I could be in that position myself."

Organizers said the slightly more than 200 people expected to attend the dinner was on par with the amount of people the shelter also served at Thanksgiving.

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