Some heaping helpings of holiday love were served up at the Organic Soup Kitchen in Santa Barbara, and every seat was filled at the Veterans Memorial Building.
They came to celebrate Christmas, and in some cases, just to find some cheer where they can. There was certainly plenty to go around.
The doors opened at noon for the Christmas luncheon of lasagna, salad, dessert, and healthy smoothies.
Volunteers provided table service, with a smile and in some cases in holiday outfits. That made the day special for those receiving and those giving.
“Oh yea everyone is loving it. These people are grateful and I’m grateful,” said Richard Burt. “Yea you know you have to cross the line from taking to giving and this is where it is at.”
Musicians played popular songs and Christmas carols for a sing-a-long. Mrs. Claus spread her love and helped to seat guests as they came to the door.
And there was no time limit for the men, women, and families attending.
“We don’t want to rush anyone through here. We want them to stay and sing and enjoy the gifts the community provided,” Cheryl Giefer
Food, friends and fulfillment came in many ways.
“I have really been helped out by this program and other similar programs too. I have enjoyed clean living and sobriety and good forward movement in my life,” said Mitch Goldstein said while wearing a Santa cap at one of the tables.
Santa arrived about 2 p.m. and handed out gifts that were donated by community members and wrapped in a special event Wednesday. They were primarily warm clothing and some toys.