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Tucson church lends a hand to the homeless this Christmas Eve

Posted at 10:22 PM, Dec 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-25 13:48:52-05

Members of the Family Restoration Community Church in Tucson made the decision to spend part of their Christmas Eve helping the homeless. They gathered at Santa Rita Park, handing out clothes, food, and other basic living essentials to people in need.

"Our entire church is out here to serve and to give and to feed," Olivia Marez said. "We've been collecting clothes and hygiene, we've got some home made food."

She and her husband -- pastor Eli Marez -- put on the event for the second year in a row. There they give blankets, new socks, hats and gloves, fresh hot food -- even dog food, for those who need it.

One person -- Denise Ingram -- who's attended the event for both years has a special connection to the cause.

"I do it in the spirit of my sister, who lost her life on the streets." Ingram said. 

She says it's an extremely special feeling helping out people in need, and the interactions are very memorable.

"They are grateful, forever grateful," she said. "They show grace, they show thankfulness when they're here."

Ingram is hoping these kinds of events will inspire the community to take a step back and remember to give to those who need help -- and not take the simple things, like a bowl of soup, for granted.

"We do this on Christmas so that they can have something that most of us have on a daily basis," Ingram said.