Salvation Army Christmas dinner serves over 8,000

CREATED Dec. 26, 2013

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MILWAUKEE -- Thousands of people gathered this Christmas to enjoy one of the biggest community dinners in the country.

They call this the Christmas Family Feast. There were 8,000 people there. They'll tell you the greatest Christmas gift is the gift of company; the moments of here and now and togetherness. That's why they call it 'The Present.'

"Having family together, enjoying their company. Loving one another. That's what I love about coming here."

Makeca Eubanks welcomes this Christmas with greater anticipation than years past. She's a new mom again, but recently lost her job.

"I forget all about the other struggles because I love Christmas. This is my best time of the year."

The best time, because the Salvation Army affords Eubanks the chance to savor a festive meal with her extended family.

"Having food to eat, having clothes to wear and a roof over the table. I'm very grateful and blessed."

Other families large and small joined the Eubanks for the Christmas feast. Many of them happy to serve, sing, and spread the joy. The Salvation Army recruited twelve hundred volunteers.

With all the joy in the room, though, it's tough to overshadow the fact that the Salvation Army is $80,000 below its 2013 campaign goal, but the good news is the campaign continues beyond Christmas, which means you can still donate.