Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
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It took hundreds of volunteers, but for the second year, Cedar Creek Church served more than 250 residents from local homeless shelters.
The church was filled with volunteers and guests for the second annual "A Night Wrapped Red."
"It was really as meaningful to us as to the guests that we're serving," said Pastor Lee Powell, senior pastor of the church. "We had some guests tell us it was the most gracious anyone had been to them for years."
The church partnered with ProMedica, the University of Toledo and Honey Baked Ham to serve dinner to the residents from the Cherry Street Mission, Salvation Army, Gospel Mission, Sparrow's Nest and Rebecca's Haven Ministries. After dinner, guests enjoyed a Christmas service and then dessert and went home with gifts and homemade Christmas cookies.
"If you're homeless and you've lost access to certain critical things, this puts some normal into that very abnormal time in that person's life," said Dan Rogers, president and CEO of Cherry Street Ministries.
There were also about 300 volunteers. Some served dinner, but others just ate with the guests and talked with them. For some, the event came full circle because they were once homeless being served, and this year they are doing the serving.
"You have to open your heart, and it's a hard thing to do, especially living in a mission," said Mischelle Hill, a volunteer. "It's a very hard thing to do because obviously there are many circumstances that brought you here."