The outreach event will provide a hot meal to hundreds of families in need.By Lindsay Ward

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On Pittsburgh’s Northside on Friday, hundreds of families will receive a hot meal and gifts at the Light of Life Rescue Mission.

It’s part of the organization’s “Christmas Outreach event.”

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Around 900 lunches and dinners were either getting boxed up and ready to be delivered or prepared to be served on a plate inside Light of Life Mission’s tent on Friday.

“This is just an outreach that we do for the community. Obviously, it looks a little different this year, just like Thanksgiving with COVID going on,” said Doug Smith, Light of Life’s Director of Development.

Around 50 volunteers are in charge of making this happen.

Besides a hot meal, those who show up here at the Light of Life will also get a gift card and some other much needed items.”

“Without us, they may realize they don’t have a meal for the day, they may not have a Christmas this year, so to be able to provide that to them is absolutely huge,” said Smith.

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Keri Baker has been a volunteer for the annual outreach event for the last 10 years.

“So I’m not with a group, I’m not with any kind of organization, I just come on my own,” Baker said.

“As COVID has taught us this year, no one is immune to needing help. You could be in the service industry making $100,000 a year, and it’s shutdown, your restaurant closed, now you’re down to nothing,” Baker went on to say.

She hopes others will see by providing just a little bit of help and hope, anyone can turn a person’s life around.

“And it just can really change, change your day,” Baker said.

KDKA’s Lindsay Ward was told that throughout today’s Christmas outreach meal, the mission will strictly follow COVID-19 protocols.

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Lunches will be served at the mission’s location on the Northside from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and again from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.