NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For many, Christmas is about giving to more than just family and friends.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, more than 1,000 volunteers around New York City cooked, packed and delivered meals to those who are too sick to cook or shop for themselves this holiday.

God’s Love We Deliver is the leading provider of meals and nutrition counseling for people living with severe illnesses.

With chef “People who are living with HIV, AIDs, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, heart failure — 200 different diagnoses,” said president and chief executive officer Karen Pearl.

And with chef caps on in their new SoHo location, chicken, rice and vegetables were served up with a smile this Christmas Eve.

“Knowing that we were helping other people also helps us so much,” said volunteer T.J.

On Christmas Eve alone, 4,500 meals were delivered, not only in New York City, but in nearby Hudson County in New Jersey.

“Our volunteers came in at 5:30 in the morning,” spokesman Emmett Findley told 1010 WINS’ Steve Kastenbaum.

And for those with special dietary needs: “We do individually tailored meals specifically for them,” Pearl said.

On Christmas Eve alone, 4,500 meals will be delivered, not only in New York City, but in nearby Hudson County in New Jersey.

“Our volunteers came in at 5:30 in the morning,” spokesperson Emmett Findley told 1010 WINS’ Steve Kastenbaum.

And for those with special dietary needs: “We do individually tailored meals specifically for them,” Pearl said.

Many of the volunteers come on a weekly basis.

“I had retired and didn’t know what to do and my daughter knew about God’s Love and now I wouldn’t stop coming here ever. When I leave the building I still walk out on clouds,” said volunteer Suzie Sobel.

“It makes me feel happy for myself and proud. It makes me feel good to give back to other people,” said Esteban, who delivered some of the meals with his parents.

You can still be a part of Christmas Eve’s giving by going online, Baker reported.

“You can sponsor a whole winter feast meal for just $10 each. That’s a whole holiday meal plus pumpkin mousse for dessert,” said Findley.

Meanwhile, Santa sent out some of his youngest helpers early as children delivered for Citymeals on Wheels on the Upper East Side.

“I think it’s really nice to give food to those who can’t get it themselves, and I like to give it to them. So yes, it’s fun,” said Camilla Hirano.

These volunteers remind us that these acts of kindness are needed not only around the holidays, but year-round, Baker reported.
 

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