NEW ORLEANS -- The line formed early on Christmas Day. Near the intersection of Camp and Coliseum, men and women accustomed to living on the streets prepared to be served and waited on.
For 25 years, Bridge House has helped the homeless and the helpless in New Orleans have some semblance of Christmas.
"It's just a huge community effort, and we get to be sort of the vessel to deliver that, and it's a great honor for us," said Else Pedersen, CEO of Bridge House.
More than 100 volunteers served up hot meals and handed out clothes toys and toiletries. Like the people they served, the volunteers came from all walks of life. They were young, aging, black, white, Asian and Jewish.
"This is not our holiday, so we enjoy coming as large group and giving back to the community," said Sheila Gold of Temple Sinai.
"We're a part of New Orleans as well. I mean that's the whole beauty of it. The Vietnamese community can be isolated sometimes, and this is a way of showing we are here," said Minh Nguyen.
For the homeless, Bridge House's Christmas dinner provided something beyond food in the belly on clothes on the back.
Bridge House CEO Else Pedersen said the event allows the homeless to have some sense of dignity. She said most of the time, these are the people we see while stopped at red lights.
Roberto Flores is homeless. He walked away from the Christmas dinner with a smile.
"When you don't have nothing, and somebody gives you something, it's hope," said Flores.
To donate to Bridge House visit their homepage, click here.