Chattanooga Group Hosts Christmas Meal

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Chattanooga group gives back to the homeless year round, but it wants to make their Christmas extra special.

That’s why the Union Gospel Mission held its annual community Christmas dinner Friday afternoon.

“I sleep on the street, eat out of garbage cans. I stay in the homeless shelter right now,” said Gerald, who is homeless.

The Union Gospel Mission is helping people like Gerald who may not have a place to go.

That’s why the group holds community dinners like this three or four times a year, during major holidays.

“Just to be a blessing to folks,” said Jon Rector, Union Gospel Mission. “Just to try to help minister to them. Our capacity is limited as to how many we can house, so this is one way we get to reach out and minister to a bunch more folks.”

“I like it,” said Douglas McDaniel, who received a free meal. “I mean, they should do more of it, but times are getting hard, and I understand that.”

For Christmas, volunteers are serving turkey, ham, and all the fixings.

They’re also giving away blankets and winter clothing. Most everything is donated.

“We love to gather whatever we can,” Rector said.

“We need more blankets,” Gerald said. “We need gloves and coats. I’ve got this hat right here. It’s all I’ve got.”

But some say this meal has made their Christmas even better this year.

“God is good,” Gerald said. “That’s all I’m going to say. God is good.”

Volunteers say they’re happy to help.

“This time of year, you know, depression is usually at its highest and people are struggling with their own lives, and so this is just a small way for us to be able to give back,” Rector said.

If you would like to donate to the Union Gospel Mission, go here:


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