SPREADING CHEER: Christmas Day Of Hope

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Some metro families don't have the means to prepare a Christmas meal while for others, their nearest loved ones are miles away.

There was a place they could turn to not only for a full stomach, but also some love and support during this holiday season.

For the second year in a row, Gigi Shank is working on Christmas day.

You won't hear any complaining as she serves meals and spreads Christmas cheer to those with nowhere else to turn.

In fact, she would tell you there's no place she'd rather be.

"It just makes me feel like I can be a light. I want to shine and brighten their day," said Shank.

The hard work of the eighty volunteers who gave their time today at Bethel Mission in Des Moines put a smile on the face of people like Dwight Ward.

"In a place like this, you feel the love. It makes me feel welcomed and safe," Ward told Channel 13 News.

He is one of nearly four hundred people who enjoyed not only a Christmas meal at the Hope Café, but also the feeling of a loving, supportive family.  

His closest relatives are more than five hours away.

"These people are coming out because they have love in their hearts," said Ward.

No presents were opened Tuesday at the Bethel Mission.

From volunteers to the people in need, everyone gained a better sense of what is truly important during this holiday season.

Faith, family, and friends.

"We want people to walk away saying they feel so much better today," said David Burrier, the Chief Development and Community Relations Officer for Hope Ministries.