Volunteers work together to feed those in need on Christmas - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Volunteers work together to feed those in need on Christmas

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Hundreds of volunteers across central Indiana are working to make sure people don't go hungry this holiday.

For the fifth year, the Grace United Methodist Church in Franklin offered an evening dinner as well as afternoon food deliveries.

"You have no idea how happy you are making us," said a Franklin man who received a dinner.  "I'm glad. That's our job," a volunteer responded.

Their job is more like that of an angel this Christmas Day, helping those in need.

"Our bills stacked up and I caught acute pancreatitis in my stomach and I've been off work three weeks, so what Christmas money we did have, I spent on medicine," a man who wished to remain nameless said.

It's been a rough winter for the man and his fiance.

"When they said $100 just for this patch behind my ear, I said 'well I guess I'll be sick for the holidays'," he explained.

But thanks to the church, they won't go hungry.

"We were working on two ramen noodle [packages] left and we're kind of stuck," he laughed.

Inside the church, a team of volunteers gets food ready to go out.  Thanks to buying in bulk and working with food vendors, the church is able to serve dinner for about $3 per person.

Dozens of volunteers spend their Christmas away from family to prepare the food and deliver it.

"I actually have family from out of state and local family that our plans are delayed until Saturday," said volunteer Cathy Liddle.

"We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve so I'm fortunate that I have the whole day open," said volunteer Linda Wirey.  Liddle and Wirey are part of the delivery team.

"I've always been in the back in kitchen and in the food area. Last year was the first time I did delivery and I chose to do that again this year because you actually get to see their faces when you hand them the meal. It's wonderful," Wirey said.

It's also emotional.

"I'd love to go see the kids, but at least they're with their mom," the man explained. "The fuel pump went out [in my car], so it's more bad luck."

Hearing more about the man's life overwhelmed Wirey.

"It's humbling," she said while she fought back tears.  "It could be any of us," she said.

And while the Grace United Methodist Church tries to help, there's only so much they can do.

"When we have money, we help, and we do a lot of helping but gosh, there's not enough money and not enough resources for all the need anymore," Liddle said.

Volunteers delivered nearly 300 meals and served dinner to nearly 400 more Christmas night at the church.

Meanwhile in downtown Indianapolis, lines were long outside of the Rock Bottom restaurant.

For the 10th year, the business opened its doors to offer a free Christmas dinner to those in need.

Rock Bottom works with area agencies to make it all possible. Nearly 700 meals were prepared and children also received a gift.

"To put a smile on someone's face and to see the kids get gifts and get a nice hearty meal on Christmas day, it just makes you feel good," said general manager Tony Hiatt.

Nearly 100 volunteers donated their time on Christmas day to help out the restaurant during the three hours they opened to serve dinner.

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