HOUSTON - It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas with kindness overflowing everywhere you go, including at Community of Faith Church where 5,000 Houston children are receiving Christmas gifts. The presents are thanks to some phenomenal donations but today Houstonians are also giving of themselves.
"Merry Christmas," a group of volunteers call out in Third Ward. They’re not only giving Christmas greetings but also a hot meal.
"Mac and cheese, chicken breast, giblet gravy, and Virginia style green beans," says Chef Chris Williams.
Williams, along with the Kinder Foundation, is hosting the Holiday Meal giveaway in Third Ward where Williams lives and has his restaurant, Lucille’s, which is named after his Great Grandmother. In fact, so is his non-profit Lucille’s 1913.
"That’s the year she started her business and she started her business for the same reason we started ours, to serve a community that is in need."
"It’s a beautiful thing for them to do this," says one woman who’s picking up goodies. "They’re really helping my family," adds another woman. "We’re in a neighborhood that’s part of the 54 million people that are hungry right now in the United States today. They’re in food-insecure areas. Children don’t have any food," says Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee who volunteered at the holiday meal giveaway.
The thousands of people driving and walking up aren’t only receiving a cooked meal thanks to 30 chefs who spent the last two days cooking, they’re also being given a $100 HEB gift card for Christmas dinner.
"Thank you. I just appreciate it so much," says a Houston man.
Across town at the Houston Food Bank, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is lending a hand.
"There are a lot of Texans that are hurting. So this morning Ivy and I and our girls just came out here to volunteer," says Cruz.
Many receiving meals have never had to do so before, until the pandemic. In fact, some who are giving are also experiencing strange firsts.
"50 years of life and this is the first Christmas I’ve ever not been with my mom, I’ve ever not been with my dad but they’re 81 and 86," says Cruz.
Christmas may be different this year, but many are doing everything they can to try to make sure the same joyful holiday spirit is in every Houston home.