Christmas is day of service in Chicago; St. Sabina Church serves seniors, veterans, homeless for 15th year

CHICAGO (WLS) -- St. Sabina Church turned Christmas Day into a day of service, dedicating their time to spreading holiday cheer on the South Side.

Parishioners served food to seniors, veterans and the homeless.

"The food is excellent, and I love the company," said Gail Morris.

"This is my first time. I am very happy," Hattie Anderson said.

This is the 15th year the Auburn Gresham church has hosted a Christmas feast and given out gifts to children.

"The most important thing we give them today is love, because of lot of the people in here have felt abandoned," said Father Michael Pfleger.

Dozens of volunteers gave part of their Christmas to give back to the community. They said there's no better gift than seeing the reaction from the people in the room.

"It is just a good feeling to see the people come in and be able to feed them and wish them a merry Christmas," said Sherri Montgomery, volunteer.

"It warms my heart to come here and help out as much as I can," said Havier Lasticor, volunteer.

CHRISTMAS DAY BECAOMES DAY OF SERVICE THROUGHOUT AREA

Across the area, many spent the day performing acts of service, including 9-year-old Markel Beck, who along with his aunt brought food to the homeless in a tent city in the South Loop.

"It took a while to make all the plates. It took us like an hour but we still got here on time," he said. "My reaction to the people who got the food, I felt good. I saw all the other people being happy and being grateful for all the stuff we did for them.

RELATED: Boy, 9, and aunt spend Christmas Eve cooking for South Loop homeless

Volunteers at the Salvation Army Freedom Center in Humboldt Park were busy serving up more than 2,500 Christmas dinners. Everyone who stopped by also received a gift.

The Chicago Fire Department gave Santa a lift to La Rabida Children's Hospital, where he brought gifts and holiday cheer to patients. Santa has visited patients at La Rabida every year since the 1970s.

In River Forest, 400 volunteers with the Christmas Cheer Foundation packed up meals to deliver to those in need. Starting bright and early Wednesday morning, they delivered a total of 15,000 meals.
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