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Hundreds gather at Yonkers church for 29th annual holiday dinner
People began lining up at 10:30 a.m. on Christmas Day for an annual community dinner at St. John's Church in Yonkers.
As they filed in, volunteers in Santa hats passed out eggnog and apple cider to those seeking a warm place to share in a festive turkey meal. In its 29th year of offering the dinner, the Sharing Community Inc. again served a dinner with all the fixings and gave Christmas gifts to 300-500 people.
"The goal is not merely to feed people who are hungry but to make people feel like they have a place to be today," said Rob Zopf, executive director of the Sharing Community.
With the altar decorated with pointsettias, bows and glowing Christmas trees, and pews filled with the greetings of friends and family, St. John's had the warm glow of the holiday season.
Maria Cortez of Yonkers said her family has been coming to the dinner for seven years. She said she appreciates how much the organization has done for her and her children.
"I'm reflecting on family and friends this Christmas," Cortez said. "And teaching my kids that it is more important to give than to receive. The important thing is giving."