CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
Those in need are always the mind of the community, especially during the holidays, and this Christmas is no different.
About 100 volunteers helped serve Christmas dinner to the homeless at the Community Kitchen on Sunday.
Organizers also gave out Christmas gifts, including warm clothing items and hygiene products.
Debrah Taylor and her daughter Rhonda Spence, who are both first-time volunteers, said the experience was eye-opening.
"The people are so appreciative and I had no idea. I lived here my whole life and had no idea what a blessing it is to be here with these precious people," said Taylor.
Spence said described it as a humbling experience that makes her appreciate the ups and downs she's faced this year.
"My daddy died one month ago, and I've been battling cancer for four years," Spence said. "I was in remission in October so this is a big blessing to be able to give back. To be able to be here it's a blessing."
It's a mentality everyone can relate to.
"The meal was amazing; so goof that I'm not gonna eat for a week," said Community Kitchen goer, Fredrick Waddell. "All the volunteers here are all blessed and so am I."
It's also what CEO Jens Christenson, said makes the annual dinner special.
"Every year there's something unique that makes it Christmas and mostly it's the energy, the feeling and the love that is spread throughout Christmas time," said Christenson. "I don't think there's really a place that you can get closer to the true meaning of Christmas than at a facility that faces homelessness."
It's also why volunteers like Taylor and Spence are looking forward to helping out again next year.
"I'm hooked after today I wanna come back. Just enjoy being with the other volunteers and enjoy doing this. It's a wonderful thing is anybody's never done it," said Taylor.
The Community Kitchen's night shelter is also open for anyone in need of a place to stay and escape the cold nights. The shelter will run until March.