Volunteers band together to bring Christmas to less fortunate


by Stacey Delikat


Posted on December 27, 2011 at 6:47 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 27 at 7:04 AM

PHOENIX -- -Football stars, an army of volunteers and a Valley mom on a mission were all united by a common cause this Christmas -- serving others less fortunate than themselves.

Thousands of the Valley's homeless and poor were treated to warm meals and holiday treats at a number of events on Christmas day.

At the Phoenix Convention Center the Salvation Army hosted its annual Christmas dinner, serving an estimated 5,500 people.

The event also featured photo opportunities with Santa, gifts for children, and free haircuts and calling cards.

Volunteers delivered an additional 2,100 meals to homebound individuals.

Over at St. Vincent de Paul, several NFL stars hosted the 14th annual "Champions for the Homeless," featuring meals and activities.

Hall-of-famer Nick Lowery, a former Kansas City Chief, was among the event's organizers.

"These people right here, all they need is a little bit of respect, a little bit of love, and you can see all of those years of pain and difficulty melting away, and that's the best gift you can get on Christmas," Lowery said.

Some started their own events to feed the needy.

Audra Borgerson and her family have made it an annual tradition to spend several days cooking and then bring all of the food down to a vacant lot in downtown Phoenix to feed the homeless.

They also bring clothing and blankets for people to take.

"It's a calling from God and it makes us feel good," Borgerson said. "There have been a lot of people that we've seen throughout the years and they look forward to us coming, they love it."