Toledo's spirit of giving

Posted by Lindsay Edwards - email

By Erica Shaffer - bio | email | Facebook

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The holidays can be a difficult time for people who don't have much.

However, there were many volunteers Saturday that helped to make someone's Christmas a little brighter.

During the holidays, it's an important time to think about others. For the less fortunate, a hot meal and a bag of toiletries can make their entire year.

There were 250 people who benefited from the generosity of the St. Paul Community Center. St. Paul served a holiday meal and passed out gifts.

It may not be what some would consider a present: a simple tube of toothpaste, a hat, and a scarf, but recipient John Hollingsworth said "It's probably going to be one of my only Christmas presents this year."

Brent Boerstit is homeless and was able to leave the cold for awhile for the warmth of the community center. "It feels good in my heart that people do this kind of stuff."

Boerstit and Hollingsworth aren't the only ones to benefit. Volunteer Ashley Tanner says she gains something from helping.

"It makes me feel really happy to help people who don't have as much and it makes me feel really thankful for everything that I do have."

Across town the women who live in the sparrow's nest also felt the holiday spirit. Volunteers from Mary Kay brought gift bags to help the women spoil themselves. Though they couldn't stay volunteers also brought 4 week old puppies to help the women find joy this holiday season.

The puppies were Kathleen George's favorite part of the day. "It made my Christmas...I'm going to cry. I didn't have any family to go to this year and I love dogs, I want to be a groomer, so it just made my day, " says the Sparrow's Nest resident.

While some enjoy the puppies and gifts, others, such as Resident Karen Baker, say they are just happy to have a warm bed this holiday season.

"Thanks to the homeless shelter here, the Cherry Street Homeless Center, I am not out in the streets. I used to sleep out in the parks."

More than 70 women received gifts at the Sparrow's Nest. The women say the gifts have helped to brighten their holiday.

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