ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Many of us are looking to spend the holiday season with loved ones. However, there are thousands of people experiencing homelessness who may lack reasons to celebrate. Volunteers at The Samaritan House of Orangeburg are trying to make sure no one is left out.
"There is a need in Orangeburg," expressed Samaritan House of Orangeburg executive director Henry Miller. "To give you an example, tomorrow (Christmas Day) we will be preparing enough meals for 250 people."
Volunteers have cooked a Christmas Eve feast for the residents and are prepping for those Christmas Day meals -- and a special surprise for residents.
The Samaritan House's mission is to assist residents in obtaining permanent housing and increasing their personal and professional skills and income in order to achieve greater self-sufficiency while providing temporary housing for homeless men, women and children. Samaritan House can house up to 40 people for 90 days.
"Out of 32 residents, we have nine children," said Miller. "We had a wish list for all of our residents and the kids."
On Christmas Day, thanks to community donations, the residents will have their Christmas wish lists fulfilled.
But organizing the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day events has been a monumental task so volunteers from the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church youth group came to assist.
Isiah Jennings said, "I feel like this is the perfect time to help somebody and be able to extend ourselves as church members."
Kamyla Byrd says she is hoping to take away a few life lessons such as "how hard it is to have a roof over your head, and also, how people are struggling, and what I'm grateful for."
The Samaritan House and other sponsors will also be handing out Christmas dinners 1-5 p.m. Friday for those seeking extra assistance.