Volunteers spend Christmas feeding the homeless

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hundreds of men experiencing homelessness got a warm meal on Christmas at the Wheeler Mission Shelter for Men. People at the shelter say they work year-round to make sure these men have a place to eat and sleep, and they say their work doesn’t stop on holidays.

For many people Christmas is a day spent at home with family and friends, but for some, the Wheeler Mission Shelter is the closest thing they have to home.

On Sunday volunteers spent their Christmas serving hot meals to those in need.

“We fed them ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and I gave them candy canes,” said Lori King, volunteer kitchen leader.

“We are helping serve dinner and just spending some time with the guys and letting them know that they are not alone,” said Sharon Murphy, volunteer.

Murphy said she’s been volunteering at Wheeler Mission for years. She said she spends every Sunday there, and the fact that this Sunday happened to be a holiday was not going to stop her from coming in.

“It is important that we let the guys know that they are not just a hobby for us. They are not just something that will fit in when it is convenient and everything, but we know that they are still experiencing homelessness and hardship even though it is Christmas,” said Murphy.

She’s not the only volunteer. Organizers say about two dozen people spent their day helping serve meals on Christmas.

“Everything here has been through volunteers. If I didn’t have volunteers here to serve, they wouldn’t get fed,” said King.

Some say this day could be just as meaningful to the volunteers as it is the men they serve.

“To serve others and to build relationships and to be here, not just any weekend but on a holiday weekend, we share it with our family and it is just good for my heart,” said Cindy Henry, volunteer.

Leaders at the Wheeler Mission Shelter for Men served dinner to 335 men Sunday. They’re expecting around 400 to stay the night there.