CORPUS CHRISTI — For many, the holidays are more about giving than receiving which was why City Hall's parking lot was full of people willing to spend part of their Christmas giving back to those less fortunate.
“It's, you know, a holiday and a lot of families don't have much,” said Samantha Chapa.
Chapa's mother taught her the value of giving back from an early age. Her idea started this Thanksgiving: Instead of saving her leftovers for turkey sandwiches, Chapa brought them to City Hall and fed the homeless.
“We handed out only eight meals, and after seeing how rewarding it was, I decided I needed to do something bigger,” said Chapa.
Bigger indeed. For Christmas, Chapa's family made 250 meals of spaghetti, green beans, salad, dessert, and snacks. Two hundred went to City Hall, while the other 50 went to the Five Points area. And they weren't alone.
“I just want to give back, you know, it's Christmas,” said Tim Navarro. “You've got to share it, got to help the less fortunate. You know how it goes.”
Navarro and his family handed out sodas and blankets.
“It's a lovely feeling," Navarron said. "Ain't nothing like it.”
Those who received these gifts were grateful.
“I didn't know where my next meal was coming from,” said William Tolson.
Tolson walked most of the way from Brownsville to Corpus Christi. He got here last Wednesday and already has a job. Now he just needs a place where he and his dog, Red, can spend the night.
“Having a dog along makes it hard for me,” said Tolson. “I can't get into the shelters because I have a companion.”
Which is why for Tolson these simple acts made the day feel more like Christmas.
“Everybody's coming together to help one another, even though they're on the streets, they're homeless,” said Tolson.
For others, it was a way to spread the holiday spirit.
“I think this is the greater gift, giving,” said Chapa.
One recurring theme from the people at City Hall this evening was that not only do they want to make giving back and annual Christmas tradition, they want to find way to do it during the rest of the year as well.