Local volunteers use the holiday to give back to the community

While many of us are opening presents on Christmas morning, others are sleeping in shelters or on the streets.

Christmas music and the smell of food fills Back Bay Mission’s kitchen, on one side of the room volunteers prepare dressing while the other checks the turkey to make sure it stays moist and juicy.

Charles Adrian Smith, the chef from Loaves and Fishes, tells News 25 there is no where else he’d rather be. Smith has been cooking food for the homeless for the past four days, feeding over 300 people at Back Bay Mission and the D’Iberville Civic Center Shelter. “I was raised and brought up to give. So, this is a part of my heart. I get out the bed every morning to just to get up and do this. I don’t call them homeless, I call them my family. We’ve been doing 66 12-hour days just to make sure they eat.”

Melody Drummond, a volunteer, passed out candy while her daughter and husband fixed plates to pass out for everyone to eat. It’s a tradition for her and her family to do every year before they open any Christmas gifts at home. “If we are taking on Christ behavior, then we have to exemplify love and exemplify love is more than just saying, it’s an action word. You come out and give to your community. You help those who need help and you also have to remember when you may need help. The golden rule is to treat people how we want to be treated at the end of the day.”

Mike Coleman said, “I’m recently homeless. I broke down and I didn’t have really a lot of help out here. These guys, they put their heart out and hands out and really help me get back on my feet. So, it’s a blessing to be here right now and for people that actually care can come out on the holidays, on Christmas, and be here with us because we are somebody, too.”

For anyone needing shelter or food, call Back Bay Mission at 228-432-0301.

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