A Christmas meal served by unlikely hands - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

A Christmas meal served by unlikely hands

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The International Relief and Development youth build program betters the lives of at risk young adults through an intense 9-month program that aims to guild them toward a brighter future.

On Saturday, they took the opportunity to give back.

Students and volunteers joined Cowan Road Baptist church to provide the homeless and needy a Christmas meal.

Behind the turkey and stuffing were young hands and hearts eager to give back.

"It means a lot to me, I'm here with youth build. We're all doing it together," said IRD student Erica Hayes.

19-year-old Hayes was just one student fulfilling her community service requirement.

"Our motto is, we've take in 32 students, but we end with 32 community leaders," said IRD case manager Jake Cook.

Cook said that opportunities like this are a perfect way to teach the students how to give back.

Alongside the young adults were volunteers with Cowan Road Baptist Church, delivering Christmas spirit one plate at a time.

For Reverend Chris Ashley, it was more than just a chance to provide a meal.

"The Bible says the angels rejoice at the salvation of one soul. So, if just one person made decision to allow Christ to be their savior, that would be success," said Reverend Ashley.

That message reached people of all ages.

"Thank you a lot and may God bless you for taking out the time for this occasion," said a mother.

People like Janette Ferrill made the day worthwhile.

Ferrill said she would probably be sleeping in her car, if not for the Christmas meal.

While these youth may not have made the right decisions in the past, on this day their choice to spread the Christmas spirit was selfless.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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