Volunteers hand out meals, gifts to homeless

BURKE, Va. — While some folks were out hitting the stores and returning gifts, others spent the day after Christmas preparing meals and wrapping presents for the homeless.

Volunteers with the 25th Project prepare holiday meals and wrap gifts for the homeless during an event at Burke Community Church, in Burke, Va., on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart).
Volunteers with the 25th Project wrap gifts for the homeless. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart).

Loralai Mattox, 8, volunteered with her family at Burke Community Church, which was flooded with people wrapping gifts and assembling meals for the homeless in Virginia, D.C. and Southern Maryland.

“It makes me feel happy and also sad that they don’t have a home and they don’t have food,” Loralai said.

Jay Herriott with the 25th Project, a nonprofit, said the goal was to prepare 500 meals. Volunteers also gave out wrapped gifts. “Heavy flannel shirts, sleeping bags, hats and scarves, which are hand knitted by a group from Leesburg,” Herriott said.

The 25th project helps the homeless during the other months. After the holiday spirit has passed, homeless people are still out living in the cold.

Herriott said there was a huge need for propane, which is what some homeless people use to heat their tents in the winter.

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