By Marielle Mohs

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — In a untraditional year, one Christmas tradition continued Friday: the gift of a warm holiday meal.

More than 1,000 low income and 300 homeless Minnesotans were fed warm Christmas meals from volunteers with the Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul.

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This is something the mission does each Christmas, but normally the volunteers deliver the hot meals to the high rise community rooms and serve a large group of people buffet style. In the age of COVID-19, the 65 volunteers packed up their cars and drove the meals to 19 low income high rises, divvied out all the hot food into individual to-go boxes and hand delivered those meals to each apartment unit.

“It’s Christmas day and there’s so many people in need, how can I not be here?” said Elizabeth Lasley-Lord, who volunteered with her friend Mary Williams. The two also dressed up in holiday costumes to bring some extra joy to the people they’re serving.

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“Whenever you have an opportunity, give a smile and whatever small act of kindness you can, because you don’t know what difference that could make for somebody, you can save a life doing that,” Lasley-Lord said.

One of the largest drop-off locations was Ravoux High Rise in St. Paul. Volunteers packaged 115 to-go box meals and brought them to each room.

“This is a great socially distanced way to serve others,” Williams said.

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To learn more about Union Gospel Mission, click here.

Marielle Mohs