CHICAGO (WLS) -- Sitting at the dinner table is a holiday tradition for many and on Sunday, the Salvation Army served up hundreds of meals to people in need. It was a team effort to fill plates and lift spirits.
It's something the Salvation Army has been doing every Christmas for the past 70 years.
"It's just a way of us saying, you are so loved. And you are so important," Nancy Powers with the Salvation Army, said.
Over 500 holiday meals were prepared and served to families in need at the Salvation Army's West Side facility. Gifts were given to every one of the children who came in through those doors, to ensure that at least for this Christmas, everyone had a reason to celebrate.
"Their dad is the only one working so this was a good opportunity to have them here," Erica Santos said.
And while these days so much of the holiday season focuses on material things, for these families, who truly know struggle, it's about the little things.
"Just to be able to get up this morning. The true blessings are the small things. My beautiful two girls here. I have my son coming as well. I'm truly grateful for my kids and my family and we're all in good health," Dion Jones said.
The volunteers were also grateful. Over 200 of them, and not just from the Salvation Army but from all over the area. Among them, over 20 members of Palatine's Sikh Religious Society.
"We want families to come and see what is needed in the communities. We are all a part of the same fabric. We all need to do these things together," Singh Singh, with the Sikh Religious Society-Palatine, said.
And then there are people like Simona Staton who lives in the neighborhood and saw the Salvation Army's post on Facebook just two days ago.
"Just for the grace of God, there go I helping somebody else, somebody who has helped me before," Staton, a volunteer, said.
In addition to the meals served, the Salvation Army's mobile units will also take Christmas dinners to up to 1,500 homeless around the city.
Volunteers serve holiday meal to many