'They're thankful for what they've been given': Eugene Mission serves Christmas dinner

The Eugene Mission revealed its finalized, new kitchen to the public Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. - The Eugene Mission fed more than 500 people a Christmas meal on Monday, which took a full week of preparation and help from the community to pull off.

Instead of being home on the holidays, volunteers at the Eugene Mission fed hundreds of people who otherwise wouldn't have a meal.

Bill Lieshman drives trucks for work here in Lane County, but for the past three years, instead of taking time off, he's been in the kitchen, serving Christmas dinner to those in need.

He says that giving to others is what keeps him coming back, which is why he says he brings people to volunteer every Christmas.

"It's a time of giving, it's all about family," said Lieshman. "Family and friends, and the people around you."

Volunteers say hundreds of people thanked them for their contribution, but they say what's even better is that some guests brought the spirit of Christmas.

What keeps volunteers like Lieshman going is the reactions from those who received.

"Lots of smiles and interaction, people are just, they're thankful, they're very thankful," said Lieshman. "Thankful for what they have been given."

The Eugene Mission says all of this is not possible without the help of more than 200 volunteers. Not only did they give a traditional Christmas dinner to those in need, but they also gave people a chance to enjoy the holiday.

Lieshman says he will definitely volunteer for his fourth year in a row next year. If you didn't help out but would still like to, the Eugene Mission is also asking for help during the colder months. They are looking for donations of warm clothes, like jackets, sweat pants and socks.

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