WACO, Texas — For the past several years, the Waco Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has hosted a holiday dinner for homeless veterans in the greater Killeen, Temple and Waco area.
In recent months, the traditional holiday meal was not possible to safely provide during the pandemic. Instead, holiday bags filled with meaningful gifts were given to homeless veterans to include items they could benefit from and enjoy.
Due to the size of the demand, the Killeen Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was invited to partner with the Waco Stake. Two hundred of each item on the gift bag list was needed. Latter-day Saints gathered and collected goods valued at more than $6,000 dollars.
A collection of gloves, scarves, beanies, blankets and holiday candy was delivered to Veterans Affairs staff a week before Christmas. From there, everything was packaged up to ensure minimal exposure to COVID-19.
Chris Price, president of the Waco Stake, said, “This was a wonderful way to give Church members a way to #LightTheWorld this Christmas season and we couldn’t be happier with the outpouring of love for their fellow man.”
Waco Stake communication director, Allan Einboden, expressed, “Our nation and community have a lot to be grateful for —those who have served to defend our country. Many find it difficult to return and live a typical life and some of these men and women find themselves homeless for various reasons. We may not be able to solve the causes of their struggles, but we can honor these heroes.”