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Volunteers step up to feed the hungry on Christmas Day

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Helping people in need on Christmas Day is as much an act of faith as it is a deed of service, according to members of an Indianapolis synagogue on Monday.

Six days a week, Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral’s Cathedral Kitchen provides free meals to people in need. Congregation Beth-El Zedeck members have been volunteering to man the kitchen on Christmas Day for almost 20 years, allowing the regular staff to spend the day with their families.

Longtime church member Jeff Greenberg has volunteered on Christmas Day for the past eighteen years. He said helping others by serving meals or in any other way is a fulfilling experience.

“The benefit that you get from doing humanitarian volunteer things for other people is just indescribable,” said Greenberg.

Jennifer Hodes, the volunteer coordinator, stated that she anticipated serving roughly 200 individuals on Monday. Take-home platters with bread, green beans, mashed potatoes, and turkey were piled high by volunteers. Also available to diners were cookies, cake, pie, fruit salad, apples, and oranges.

According to Hodes, volunteering at Cathedral Kitchen has grown into a family ritual for some members of the parish, who even bring their grandchildren and kids along. Numerous individuals volunteer in the weeks prior, and many more just show up to help, according to her.

“I like being with people who are happy to do this,” Hodes said. “It’s a very fulfilling kind of day. I have a purpose in life. This is just another way to help that.”

Serving food at Cathedral Kitchen, according to Greenberg and Hodes, goes beyond merely providing for the underprivileged. They said that it also adheres to several fundamental Jewish beliefs, including tikkun olam, or fixing the world, and tzedakah, or charitable deeds and righteous behavior. They claimed that the labor is spiritually rewarding in addition to being beneficial.

“This is a huge element that fits right into our giving back to individuals and the community,” said Greenberg.

According to Hodes, if you’re interested in helping out on Christmas Day or at any other time, find out where local food pantries or nonprofits like Cathedral Kitchen need assistance.

 

 

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