VIRGINA BEACH,Va. (WAVY) - Christmas morning, a lot of families usually race to open presents around the tree. One family decided to spend that time this holiday spreading cheer to those less fortunate by giving out free meals.
"In my life I've been so blessed, and I just wanted to share with others what God has blessed me with," said Joyce Torrence.
Torrence says she got the idea to make holiday meals after she saw several people wandering the streets near the Virginia Beach Convention Center. This holiday she decided to gather her kids, grandkids, and friends to make enough meals to feed a hundred people near the Oceanfront on Christmas. Her family member got stores to donate bread and desserts and others chipped in money to make the holiday meal.
"Even though we can't do more we hope the little bit that we can do they appreciate. We want them to feel that someone is still out there thinking about them," said Doris Wiggins, Torrence's friend.
When the word spread Tuesday afternoon of what the Torrence family was doing, dozens of people came to the Convention Center parking lot. Many came just expecting a warm meal, and left with so much more.
"They could be at home doing their thing. They are out here making a difference in someone's else life. That is really touching," said Crystal Rutan, received a warm meal on Christmas.
"It brings a joy to my heart to know that we can help someone and let them know that someone cares. We're spreading the joy of Christmas," said Wiggins.
Torrence also hopes her grandkids will learn that Christmas is about giving back to others, not just about presents under the trees.
"I want to let them know that there is so many people that are less fortunate that we should be thinking about them also not just opening presents," said Torrence.
Torrence says she and her family plan to make the holiday meal every Christmas now.
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