NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For some New York City families, Christmas is not only time to gather together, but also a time to hit the streets and give back.

“I did this before and it’s still pretty fun that I’m helping people,” said volunteer Lucas Hernandez.

Before they get to see what they got from Santa, Lucas and his big brother Ian give to others.

It feels good helping out people. It feels really good, it’s a nice experience,” Ian Hernandez told CBS2’s Tara Jakeway.

“I always instill in the boys to give back and volunteer and just always be helpful. It’s very important, it’s mandatory in my house,” said their father Wally Hernandez.

Dallas O’Dell, 24, spends every Christmas as an elf. She joins her brother, mother and father in festive gear to volunteer.

“The face that they give when they open the door is just so genuinely happy to just have somebody spend some time with them,” she said.

Her family delivers meals all over Manhattan, while another has volunteered at the same spot for 15 years.

(Credit: CBS2)

“Proud to say it. Wouldn’t change it for a thing,” said volunteer Abby Murphy. Abby and her mom help out at a lunch for 150 seniors at the Upper East Side’s Carter Burden luncheon club.

“It’s a wonderful thing. I just wish, I say this every Christmas, that we would come here during the year,” said volunteer Wendy Morris.

Those that they help do. Thanks to the volunteers this year, they’re full of Holiday cheer.

“Its just wonderful really, We are very lucky to have this place,” said attendee Joan Perillo.

“I don’t have family, they have all passed, so this is something I am thankful for,” said attendee Dyandria Darel.

The place represents a second home for seniors that may not have any other family. They come in out of the cold dressed to the nines to have a great time.


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