LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Many charitable groups, including Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville, help out the less fortunate during the holidays.
The COVID-19 pandemic made things more difficult, but Wayside still found a way to get hundreds of meals to those in need.
It was a busy Christmas in the kitchen for Hotel Louisville chef Barry King, one of dozens of volunteers for Wayside, which is housed inside Hotel Louisville.
“We’re doing this for the community to help the homeless, and just giving back to the community, helping the community,” King said.
Wayside helped feed the homeless inside its mission, and also sent out meals to the elderly, veterans, and anyone else who needed a hot holiday meal on Christmas.
Ruby Hide organized the volunteers for Wayside, a group she has been a part of for 29 years now. She said Christmas of 1991 was her wake up call.
“When i saw a lady on Christmas day leaving the facility, I was up at Wayside (on) 825 east market street, when a block away, I saw a senior lady in the garbage can,” Hide said. “And from that point on, I won’t see that kind of picture no more.”
Wayside receives support from several groups, including Becker Law Office, who set up outside with a candy stand for those who came through the mission.
“All you have to do is stand outside and start freezing for a while to understand how desperate it can get for those folks who are homeless,” managing partner Greg Bubalo said. “And that’s what Wayside Christian Mission recognizes. They fed thousands of people who would otherwise go hungry; they have housed people who would otherwise freeze, and on Christmas especially, we need to remember that. It’s not just about gifts and Christmas trees, it’s about other people.”
The mission didn’t get the chance to deliver as many meals as it typically does because of the coronavirus, but Hide says seeing the joy in other people’s faces still makes it worthwhile.
“When we go visit them, they’re so elated that someone has come into their home first, to say Jesus was born today, merry Christmas,” Hide said. “And a lot of them don’t have a chance to partner with no one because either their families are at a standstill and they can’t cook anymore, so that’s the main reason is to feed them today and give them some kind of spirit.”
And Wayside plans to keep up the holiday spirit, even if it means battling through a pandemic.