Hundreds in the City of Buffalo chose to spend their Christmas morning giving back to those who otherwise wouldn't have one Tuesday. YNN's Meg Rossman has more on the Buffalo City Mission's Hambone Express and how one family has made skipping the presents and scooping the sweet potatoes a holiday tradition.
BUFFALO, N.Y. --- You won’t find any Grinches here at the Buffalo City Mission this Christmas. Instead, you'll find hundreds giving back to those who need it most.
"We got here a little earlier today,” Tina Bartoshevich said. “We start at 7:30 and in three hours, we can do about 2,000 meals."
Bartoshevich, in her third year volunteering for the mission's Hambone Express, makes up just one of 240 volunteers who gave up their Christmas morning.
"To help prep, package and then deliver over 3,000 meals to the elderly shut-ins and to those who are homeless that required a meal today," Aubrey Calhoun of the Buffalo City Mission explained.
That means three shifts and a 76 member delivery team filling trays, packing bags and loading cars to serve their community, one where many are experiencing homelessness for the first time this holiday season.
"You have a lot of individuals that are without family,” she said. “They don't have a family to go to or have a meal."
And while many left their families Tuesday to pack bags full of Christmas hams, sweet potatoes and pie, Bartoshevich turned her task into a family affair, bringing along her husband and son, who first came up with the idea to spend his Thanksgiving volunteering nearly 10 years ago in the hopes that others will do the same.
"It makes me feel good,” she said. “It makes me think about when they get that meal, that nice warm meal, that maybe they're getting a little bit of comfort during the holiday season."