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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Sometimes just being there is all that matters.
Whether it's dedicating time to serve or giving encouraging words, when Dillon Willingham walked through the doors, he got more than a warm meal to lift his spirit at the Rescue Mission.
"It shows that there are people out there that really care about individuals that don't have nothing, that don't really know what it's like to not be without," Willingham said.
This isn't his first meal here, but it is Matthew's first time being away from his family in Seattle.
Matthew says the Rescue Mission has become extended family.
"I just received a message from mom and dad wishing me a merry christmas all the way in Seattle. I got to experience Thanksgiving with them and spend Christmas with my other family. This has been a great place," Matthew Gombos said.
More than 150 volunteers prepared meals to serve and for carry-out with turkey, green beans, stuffing, and the newest item on the menu pumpkin cheesecake.
To those on the receiving end, it's more than just a meal.
"It doesn't mean just about presents. It means family. It means life. It means spirit. It's a holy day to me. It brings joy to me myself to tell everyone Merry Christmas so they know without that, I hope I lifted their day up," Willingham said.
"They've gotten a little more than just a hot meal today. you can really feel the love in the room not only from the meal itself but from the volunteers that are here to serve," Laurie Brumbaugh, Senior Vice President of the Rescue Mission said.
Laurie Brumbaugh said they've even had people contacting them today to volunteer for Christmas just to be a part of giving back.
"It's great to know we have a wonderful welcoming community here in Fort Wayne," Brumbaugh said.
If you missed out on volunteering for Christmas dinner, you can register online through the Rescue Mission's website to help out with their next dinner.
- Rescue Mission provides feeling of home with Christmas dinner
- Rescue Mission feeds the homeless for Christmas
- Rescue Mission feeds over 3,000 for Thanksgiving
- Rescue Mission serves 2,000 people for Easter
- More than $16,000 donated to Rescue Mission
- Rescue Mission receives grant from AEP Foundation
- Rescue Mission prepping for Thanksgiving meal, holidays
- Rescue Mission ready for Thanksgiving meal
- Rescue Mission gears up for One Night Without a Home event
- More people staying at Rescue Mission as temperatures drop