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Families, strangers give to D.C. homeless on Christmas

Local residents help the homeless on Christmas. (Photo: ABC 7 News)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Under the cloud of darkness, D.C.'s homeless and poor population can go unnoticed.

But on Christmas, in the daylight, some every day elves couldn't forget the need.

People came from across the city and around the District's suburbs to provide some joy to people who worry where the next meal will come from.

For one mother of three, a box of cereal was the best present of all.

"Another day I can survive, that somebody bought me some food I can eat, and I got wash cloths [so] I can always go somewhere and wash up in a bathroom," said Darlesha Joyner, a homeless woman.

The Campos family from Gaithersburg, Md. wrapped up about 200 ham sandwiches to feed people.

"We used to just buy a lot of gifts for our kids and we realized giving them a lot of things, was not really the point of Christmas," said Carmen Campos, a mother.

It's become a family tradition that also teaches their three children about charity.

"I feel good about them because they have something to have so they will feel better," said Matteo Campos.

The tradition of giving also transcends religion - the Jews and Muslims DC organization - whipped up tuna and egg salad and care packages to give away.

"When you all come together and serve the community together, we have the same purpose," said Ammar Zakiullah, an organizer with JAMDC.

"It feels good giving. It also feels good knowing you have made somebody's day just a little bit brighter," said Erica Steen, director of Community Engagement at DCJCC.

Even on Christmas, the smallest gifts sometimes mean the most.

"Somebody still thinks of us," said Paulette McDonele.

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