Volunteers, donations make lunch, gifts possible for homeless

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Getting presents is nice, but the spirit of the season is all about giving.

Dozens of people decided to give back to those who need it most by serving meals at St. Vincent de Paul on Christmas day.

For several volunteers, helping out has special meaning.

The volunteers said they know how important it is to be there to help everyone who is down on their luck, especially those volunteers who said they've been there.

"I used to be one of the people who come in here to eat here,” said Jason Ayers.

Ayers said that 10 years ago, he was homeless until he got the support to turn his life around.

“Got back in school, found me a part-time job,” he said.

He's now teaching his daughter about homelessness and how to give back.

"I know that he was kind of off track a little, and then he got back on track because of his parents," said Destiny Neeley.

Now Neeley wants to help others who are going through what her father did.

"I see poor people around here, and they have nothing to really eat and they don't bathe every day, so sometimes I feel like we should give back to the people that gave us something," Neeley said.

Joshua Daniels is also giving back.

"I've been close to that situation myself where I've almost been homeless as well," Daniels said.

He said he knows what it's like to go hungry.

"Lost my job, going through a hard time, low on funds,” he said. “I had to sell everything just to eat, and then there were days when I didn't eat."

Food is just one of the things the homeless got Thursday.

"This is a day of love and we need to show that,” said Jerome Daniels, former Arizona Cardinals football player.

A man who goes by the name “Ol’ Charlie" said he's feeling the love.

"I never will forget this place for as long as I live," he said.

"They have gone through tremendous hardship by losing a job and having some sort of illness that got them out of their ability to handle their financial situation,” said Nick Lowery from Champions for the Homeless.

The homeless said it's not only the food that helps them on this occasion, but it's also the company that surrounds them.