5 On Your Side

Christmas spirit on display in Durham

Posted December 23, 2010 9:28 p.m. EST

— Smiles were plentiful Thursday at the Durham Rescue Mission where hundreds of volunteers spent the day giving meals and toys to the less fortunate.

For the parents and children in line before dawn, the rescue mission outreach is a Christmas miracle.

"I'm hoping to get a Barbie doll," said 6-year-old Joi Scott.

Rasheeda Burton said she lined up so that she can deliver Christmas for her kids.

"I'm in school, so I just wanted to make sure that they had something for Christmas Day," Burton said.

She was amazed at how many people joined her.

"I'm sad that everybody has to be out here, but I'm glad it's an option," she said.

The Rescue Mission served more than 2,200 meals of turkey, ham and all the trimmings and gave away more than 12,000 toys, bags of groceries and racks of clothing.

"We really appreciate it," Burton said.

Those handing out the plates and bags said they got a gift in return.

Cory Bowen brought family to volunteer at the rescue mission for what he hopes will become an annual tradition.

"It gave me chills," he said. "I hope they can see what other kids don't have and be thankful for what they do have."

Bowen's daughter, Cameron, 12, said she was surprised at the size of the crowd.

"It's scary how many people need toys and clothes and all that," she said.

In Raleigh, volunteers packed meals at the rescue mission Thursday. They will deliver "dinner with dignity" on Christmas and New Year's Day.