'It's sharing the joy, even when we're going through a hard time': Many spend Christmas Day giving back

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- On Christmas Day, there were many who spent their holiday giving back to the community. 

"This is important because it’s sharing the joy, even when  we’re going through a hard time in 2020," said Kennedy Jefferson, who was at the Northcott Neighborhood House Friday. 

Their goal there was to serve at least 700 families and 2,800 children. 

"With the pandemic, we’ve seen that there are so many people who are unable to provide proper meals or toys for their children," said Tony Kearney, executive director for the Northcott Neighborhood House. 

Meals were packed for families and gifts for boys and girls were wrapped and ready to hand out. 

"The reality is, there’s some pain in this community and we’re trying to alleviate it for Christmas," said Kearney. 

The Salvation Army held its 31st Christmas Family Feast at the Wisconsin Center. The event typically serves over 8,000 people a sit-down meal. This year, all meals were takeout or curbside. 

"I don’t have a lot of family, it’s just me and my sister and this way I get to meet people, so I like it," said Evelyn Beck, who attended the family feast. 

The Salvation Army said it was planning to serve about 4,000 people. 

"We’re providing food, we’re providing socks, a bus pass and toys. The best thing is we’re providing love and hope for families that need that for this Christmas season, especially through a pandemic," said Major Steven Woodard, the Milwaukee County coordinator for the Salvation Army. 

"It honestly just brings joy to my heart just to see everyone out here smiling this year," said Nicole Tarnowski, who volunteers every year. 

At Repairers of the Breach, there was a Christmas lunch and giveaway. The event was a walk-through. 

"We just thought it was necessary to do. It’s been tough for the homeless and here’s Christmas, we’ve already been separated and this is a way we thought we could show some love and equip them with the things they need," said Pastor James West, Executive Director, "We just thought it was essential to let them know we still love you, we’re still here."

He said it would not have been possible without donors and volunteers. 

"Everyone understands this is the time, we just pull together and take care of each other."

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