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Volunteers deliver meals for Christmas

Posted at 10:56 PM, Dec 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-25 22:56:58-05

LANSING, Mich. — As many of you are enjoying time with your family, a church in Mid Michigan is helping to bring a family to those that are alone this holiday.

St. Luke Lutheran Church now carrying out the decades-long tradition of volunteers from all over the state. They will deliver hot meals to the elderly and shut-ins.

For many it's just a small part of their day, that's all worth it to see the joy they bring to others.

"They will never graduate out of this that's the big joke in my family, they will be doing this until their grandparents and their grandkids will be doing it," said Bethe Day, a volunteer.

Bethe Day is making sure her four kids know the importance of giving back.

"You gotta think of something bigger than yourself because at the end of the day no matter how scared you are people really need help," said Dylan Day, a volunteer.

Volunteers said packaging the food is just part of the process, they don't really feel the impact it takes on someone until they deliver the meals.

"You knock on that door and you see that they're happy because it's their Christmas meal," said Andrea Barolo, a volunteer.

Chef Andrea Barolo cooked the 150 meals that were delivered around the Lansing area that's down from the more than 400 meals they prepared in 2017.

"It's always nice to get out there and help. 150 is better than nothing, to be honest. We can't help as many people but it's still a nice thing to do, it's a tradition," said Barolo.

It's that tradition, for several of the volunteers here, that keeps them coming back.

"I get really excited when I see my kids jump in and help. And I see them bring compassion and givenness to other people, said Bethe.

St. Luke continues the decades-long tradition led by the Sharp family of East Lansing, previously hosted by Volunteers of America. John Hoejke is the successor of Sharp's leadership and leads dozens of volunteers who will assemble, package and deliver hot meals, with all the trimmings, to seniors and the disabled. Volunteers cook, drivers and cookie bakers have long served this tradition observing Christmas, some for three generations.

In a statement to News 10, "our congregation is glad to take on this project as part of our expanding role in helping in the Lansing community. We see this effort as a way to meaningfully engage our neighbors with the love of Jesus," said Pastor David Davis, Senior Pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church.