BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Christmas colors may be red and green, but as WAFB learned, it’s also about gold.
It may not be fine china or crystal; the napkins may be paper, and the forks may be plastic instead of silver, but the hearts at St. Vincent de Paul are pure gold.
“We’ve been doing it about ten years now,” said Tess Bourgeois, a volunteer.
Dozens of volunteers lined up the day before Christmas to serve their fellow man.
“They’re not used to being served like this. We try to make it extra special for Christmas,” said Bourgeois.
The traditional Christmas dinner has spilled over into Christmas Eve.
“Years ago, people called to donate their time and volunteer on Christmas Day only. Today, Christmas Eve, we’re packed because people understand the importance of giving on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the other 364 days of the year,” said Michael Acaldo, director of St. Vincent de Paul.
“These people are wonderful. They are so good to us, reminds me of being home. There’s a lot of love here,” said Alan Letford, a diner.
And there’s even more love in the kitchen, where volunteers prepare more than 100 fried turkeys to be served Christmas Day by another batch of volunteers.
“We’re expecting to serve between 600 and 800 people. It’s going to be a fabulous representation of what Christmas means,” said Acaldo.
Christmas dinner isn’t about how it’s served.
“It’s like being at a 5-star hotel restaurant,” Letford said.
It’s about the love it’s served with.
St. Vincent de Paul currently has plenty of volunteers for Christmas, but they do welcome volunteers year round.
On Christmas Day, more than 150 volunteers will make the year’s Christmas meal for needy and homeless guests. The meal will be served in the dining room from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 25.