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God Bless Us, Every One

Every Christmas Day, when many of us are celebrating with family, a special group of volunteers brings a little bit of Christmas cheer into the lives of many of those experiencing homelessness. Led for the past five years by Shelley Doherty, with help from Lisa Kenduck and Julie Gulino, this bubbly group provided a festive meal at the Family Promise Walk-in Dinner in Hackensack. Live holiday music was provided by Bob Copeland from Ramsey.

This year’s menu included turkey, ham, fresh vegetables, potatoes, mac ‘n’ cheese, and some specialty items from local restaurants. Many desserts were provided by Trader Joe’s and drinks and salad dressing were courtesy of ShopRite. There was plenty of food, so everyone took a meal to go.

The volunteers, all dressed in holiday gear, gave out coats, hats, socks, and toiletries to each guest. Over 50 volunteers took shifts serving food and passing out items. “Sometimes I get lost in the hustle and shuffles in a busy life,” says Doherty, “and this makes me stop and think about others less fortunate and what really matters and helps me to slow down.”