St. Vincent de Paul serves meals and hands out gifts for Christmas

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For most people, Christmas is a cherished day to spend time with loved ones and friends, but for many in the area, it's a day that can often mean being alone without every day necessities and that's where St. Vincent de Paul comes in with an army of volunteers made sure some local folks in need were not forgotten.

It was a Christmas dinner unlike any other. About 1,000 holiday meals were served to men, women and children in need. One of those people was Linda Roberson. She was extremely grateful to have the chance to enjoy a meal she said she might otherwise not get.

"It's really wonderful you know," Roberson said. "It's a great experience that we're allowed to have a hot meal for some of us that don't have hot meals to eat."

The day was equally important for folks like Katherine Theunissen and her two sons. She was one of 150 volunteers who chose to give their time making sure the less fortunate didn't feel that way Wednesday.

"On Christmas day, there's a lot of things to do, but they have taken time to share their time with people that don't have family," said Michael Acaldo, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul. "They are family to so many people that are truly in need in our community."

Those people in need also got a chance to pick out clothing and fill up bags with necessities outside at the St. Vincent de Paul Christmas store.

"They can come out, get a coat, get a pair of shoes, get some other necessity, get a Christmas gift on Christmas day and that's priceless. That smile is out of this world," Acaldo added.

As part of the store, the children on hand received toys and like, Roberson, will leave knowing they are not alone.

"My daddy used to tell me a long time ago, 'Life is like a poker hand. You need to know when to hold them and know when to fold them,' so it's a great experience for people to care about us to make sure we have a hot meal, especially on the holidays," she explained.

St. Vincent de Paul said Wednesday's meals were just a few of the 230,000 they have served this year.

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