Shepherd of the Gulf brings Christmas to the homeless

Shepherd of the Gulf brings Christmas to the homeless

There's joy in Lynda Favre's heart. And, as a result, there is joy in the hearts of those she has helped.

As she was thinking about gathering gifts to the homeless on Saturday for her organization Shepherd of the Gulf, someone was thinking about her.

Jerri Kitchings is a volunteer now, but she knows what it's like on the other side of the gift.

"Linda has done so much for the homeless around here and I had been homeless myself for three or four years," she said. "Now I'm not, thank God. She does so much for the veterans and everybody. If you call her, she's there. ... I wish everybody around here would pay it forward. That's what I'm doing. I'm paying it forward."

Ricky Beaver and his family were invited to volunteer. On this day, a sleeping bag and ground mat were his physical gifts. The other gift was spiritual.

"I'm here to minister to them through God," he said. "It's not me that speaking to the homeless today. I'm letting God use me as his instrument."

About 30 volunteers and gift donors showed up at the Humane Society of South as ground zero for the tour of homeless sites. About 100 people were served with gifts of blankets, food, bedding and clothes. Volunteers helped to distribute them at each location while others sang Christmas songs.

Shepherd of the Gulf was established in 2010.

Immediately, Favre and her board created Thanksgiving in the Woods to bring Thanksgiving meals to the homeless.

She decided not to stop there.

"I felt, why not bring them a little happiness," she said. "And especially this time of year where everybody is sharing with family. These people don't have family. They can't be with family. So we are their family."

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