PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – They say it’s better to give than to receive – and nowhere is that truer than at the soup kitchens and shelters where volunteers spend their Christmases helping others.

In fact, the volunteers at the Jubilee Kitchen in the Hill District said there’s no place they’d rather be.

For some, Christmas dinner is a plate of ham and potatoes at the Jubilee Kitchen.

And while the poor, homeless and destitute are grateful for the kindness, it’s the volunteers who say they’re rewarded.

“As a kid, I liked getting things,” Merrit Penrod of Wexford said. “But as I get older and I realize there are people who don’t have the things that I do, I like to give to those people.”

“Christmas is not about the gifts,” Lendi Joy of Shadyside said. “It’s about being with people you love and giving back. It’s about service.”

Jubilee serves a hot meal to those in need 356 days a year.

But on Christmas, volunteers act as waiters and waitresses serving the guests at the tables.

“Christmas is about family and friends and this is what Jubilee is all about, because we really are their family,” Sister Therese Frankowski with Jubilee Kitchen said.

And guests like Shawn Stewart say the people there make them feel like they belong.

“They bless everybody every day and help the people through those times when they can’t make it through and need a little help,” Stewart said.

It being Christmas, people like Maima Sturdivant just show up with gifts of toys and clothes.

“God blesses me so I can give back,” Sturdivant said.

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