NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An army of volunteers helped to make Christmas even better for people in need across New York City.

The spirit of the season, of kindness and goodness, is alive and well at the New York Rescue Mission in Lower Manhattan where volunteers from New York Cares were handing out warm coats to more than 150 homeless men and women, CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported.

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New York Cares has been doing its coat drive for 26 years now, and Walter Carter says it is the best gift he will get this Christmas.

“Just being able to get something for Christmas and to have a coat in the winter time. It’s cold outside,” he said.

Organizers say the need has never been greater.

“We’re trying to get to 100,000 coats and we only have 34,000 in hand,” said New York Cares Executive Director Gary Bagley.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, every year the Moser family of Murray Hill spends Christmas Day handing out coats for New York Cares.

“We love to give back to the community,” said Jessica Moser.

The message of giving is not lost on the Moser children either.

“They don’t have to make that tough choice between like two things. We can take care of one of those for them,” Jamie Moser said.

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Like the Mosers, the O’Dell family spends their holiday volunteering, delivering food for Citymeals-on-Wheels.

The O’Dells first started volunteering five years ago, and now it’s part of their annual Christmas tradition.

“We had so much fun with it that we basically made it a tradition,” they said. “And it’s been wonderful. We think it kind of changes the meaning of Christmas. It puts everything into perspective.”

“The food is warm; it comes and you just put it int he microwave,” said food recipient Carol.

Getting those meals delivered took a crew of 400 people, and it’s not just making the food, but also getting them out the door.

It’s a tremendous job and also one that’s tremendously important.

“Today it’s really about family and holidays for most of us. But these are people that have really outlived their families and friends, and are alone,” Citymeals-on-Wheels Executive Director Beth Shapiro said of the recipients. “People who are too frail and too old to cook and shop for themselves — 80’s, 90’s, even 100 years old. We have 200 people that we are feeding who are 100 years old or older.”

Citymeals-on-Wheels delivers food every day, so they are always looking for volunteers. The organization said this year alone, they had 19,000 volunteers providing 67,000 hours of service.

New York Cares will collect coats for another week. They have drop off sites around New York City, including at every police precinct.

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