CLEVELAND, Ohio — For more than 30 years, St. Augustine Church in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood has been providing meals to the elderly, handicapped and less fortunate during the holiday season.
Christmas dinners with all the trimmings were served to hundreds of people Tuesday afternoon.
“I think it’s a beautiful thing,” said Cynthia Prestley, of Youngstown. “God is blessed, and I appreciate the meals and the happiness. This place made me happy. Without this place I don’t know what I would do for Christmas. I think it’s a very special thing they are doing today.”
The Graham family really got into the Christmas spirit of giving and came down to St Augustine’s to make the season brighter for some people.
“We are just coming down, dropping some gifts off for people who don’t have as much as we have, and we wanted to make their Christmas a little bit better this year,” said Andy Graham, of Cleveland.
The people who received the gifts appreciated the kindness of strangers.
“I came down here for dinner today because I am pretty much homeless, trying to get dinner, and I think it’s just wonderful what these people do they come out on Christmas and give to the needy and presents and stuff for people who are really in need,” said David Whitt, of Cleveland.
Not only did St. Augustine feed hundreds on Christmas Day, they also planned to deliver more than 5,000 hot prepared meals to people in need.
“They have nobody to cook a meal for them, and most of them are elderly people and people who can not get out, and so when the deliverers come they try to sit down with them and talk with them and share a little with them so the person is not all alone for the whole day,” said Sister Corita Ambro, of St. Augustine Church.
The St. Augustine Hunger Center is also providing additional food so some of the less fortunate can have meals beyond the holiday.
For a list of free holiday dinners in the area, click here.