Grace Baptist Church hosts free holiday meal in Mount Vernon
Nothing says Christmas like giving thanks and giving back - and that's just what members at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon did. For the first time since the pandemic, the church is back to its sit-down Christmas dinners.
"We are serving the community, it's a community dinner where we welcome those from the community that need to be served, and we are here to serve," explained church member Crystal Collins.
For more than 20 years, people in the community know they can rely on Grace Baptist for the holiday.
"As you can see, they are enjoying the meal, we have our top cooks," said Collins.
"We have a host of volunteers, a lot of young people are actually giving back," noted church member Myisha Mike.
"It's nice to help people," said young Hunter, who was here volunteering with her family.
"It just gives me a chance to take in everything that some people might not have," said Gabriella, another young volunteer.
Hundreds of people feasted on a buffet of chicken, ham, string beans, collared greens, yams and macaroni and cheese - not to mention the desserts.
"Nice people here," said Robert Moore, who came to enjoy the meal.
"I want to give back to my community, I feel joyful when I help others in need," explained Mariah, another volunteer.
And for the guests, an event like this is a reminder that there are good people in the world.
"That's a blessing for everybody, everybody deserves to eat, you know, well and they're so blessed with that," said Deborah, who attended the meal.
When the volunteers were asked about their decision to be there volunteering, instead of at home with their families, they said they were home with their families. Just a different home and a different family.