LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of volunteers and celebrities Tuesday helped served meals and distributed toys at the Los Angeles Mission Christmas Eve celebration.
Approximately 4,000 meals were being served to the homeless starting at 11 a.m. at the LA Mission at 303 E. 5th St. on Skid Row.
Preparations began at 4:30 a.m.
“This is our Christmas celebration here at the Los Angeles Mission,” Mission President Herb Smith said. “It’s really about letting people know that somebody cares about them and to share the spirit of the season.”
Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and many celebrities, including Forest Whitaker, Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin, Jo Frost and Bianca Lawson, volunteered at the event sponsored by Toyota and Nestlé.
“I really didn’t have a Christmas to give my son this year,” parent Tahjanique Brown said. “So I’m very thankful that they do something like this in the city of LA.”
Toys donated by JAKKS Pacific Inc., Imperial Toys, Festival of Children Foundation and others were being distributed to children. Blankets and hygiene kits were also available to those in need.
“If we can give them a nice meal, a smile, a ‘merry Christmas, always come to the mission, we’ll be here for you’ that helps a lot,” 10-year volunteer Sally Richter said.