St. Sabina shares food, toys, love with less fortunate on Christmas

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The true meaning of Christmas was on full display at St. Sabina's church in Chicago on Christmas Day, where parishioners shared food, toys and love with less fortunate families.

It's become an annual tradition at St. Sabina Church to open its doors on Christmas Day, offering food and fellowship to anyone who needs it. More than 500 people are served home-cooked meals as well.

"I love the atmosphere. I wouldn't miss a Christmas. If I could make it here I try to get here," said Freddie Cooks.

Father Michael Pfleger helped to set the festive mood. Years ago he started inviting anyone who is alone or has no food to come to the church in the city's Auburn Gresham neighborhood and enjoy a meal and the company of others.

"We want everybody to know you're our guest at our dinner table, and we love you, we want you to feel the hope and the joy of Christmas," Father Pfleger said.

The large scale of the Christmas party requires many volunteers. Among them was Chicago police officer Cheryl Clark, who said it's important to make everyone feel special.

"Just talking to the kids and socializing, because everybody has a story. They are not just homeless or they are not just destitute. They know god and they have a story," she said.

After lunch families were able to take home some Christmas gifts, and there was a toy giveaway for the kids.

"I got a Barbie Dream House and a Baby Alive," said Lazharia Howard.

And the adults could choose from toiletries, clothes, shoes and more.

"To see their faces when they come in, especially the children and some of the moms, they're grateful for the things that we got and for the time we take and share with them," said volunteer Hiola G. Alston.
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