St. Augustine continues 43-year Christmas tradition of holiday meals

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CLEVELAND - A holiday tradition shows no signs of stopping at one Tremont church. 13,000 Christmas meals will be served at Cleveland's St. Augustine Parish.

"Love for the people you know, people that are just unfortunate you don't know what type of times they fell on," said volunteer William Hart. "To be able to just give any type of help to them is a blessing."

For others volunteering is a way to give back to people who helped their lives come full circle.

"I was in the back praying and I cry every time I come back and see these people," said Reginald Russell who was homeless and now serves as a volunteer cook at the parish. "A lot of people at home are in their house comfortable. I feel like I have to come back out here to give what God gave me."

Packing, delivering and serving the hungry on Christmas is a tradition 43 years in the making. Sister Corita Ambro who directs the church's Hunger Center says there is an increasing need for a helping hand.

"More and more people are losing their housing right now," said Sister Corita. "People that came to these last two months for rent checks - has been incredible - for payments for bills has been incredible. So the need is growing."

Volunteers and donations are not only needed during the holidays but throughout the year. In January an estimated $50,000 dollars will be needed to feed the hungry.

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