Annual Salvation Army Christmas celebration - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Annual Salvation Army Christmas celebration

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - About 1,200 people who might otherwise go without received a warm Christmas Day meal at the San Diego Salvation Army’s 32nd annual Christmas dinner. It was held downtown at Golden Hall Friday afternoon.

Two by two, the crowds filed in, each person was greeted and escorted by a volunteer.

“It's a team of approximately 20 people who are back here unwrapping, packing, cutting, tray-ing and the end result is a very organized, machine-like operation,” said volunteer Adrienne Pierie, who had been there preparing since 9 a.m.

The band played “Feliz Navidad” and “Frosty the Snowman” causing some to dance and others to be reflective on the holiday spirit.

"Christmas means to me an opportunity to give and to love people,” said Arterioa Farmer, attending the dinner for her first time.

Although numbers were slightly down for attendance, Major Lee Lescano of the Salvation Army says the meal always leaves a mark.

"People ought to really know that there is hope, there is love and there are some who are struggling in our community"

Mikey Gomez,says he attends the dinner just to get himself and his wife out the house and to show how much they have to be grateful for.

"At least we got a roof over our heads and are able to do things, I’m appreciative for this meal," Gomez said.

Old St. Nick made an appearance as 180 pumpkin pies and hot turkey dinners were being served by 350 volunteers.

Dressed in uniform, U.S. Navy sailor Donald Eugene spent his Christmas day as a server.

"There are a lot of sailors out here who are away from families right now, sailors on and off duty should be trying to give back to the communities where they serve, so this is my way of doing that," Eugene said.

Servers prepared 355 pounds of turkey and 570 pounds of green beans. All the leftover food was given to local shelters.

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