WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — About 30 volunteers braved the cold for four hours on Christmas to hand out hot meals to people in the community.
It's all thanks to the Miller Family, who has geared up to host their Christmas Day feeding event every year for the past 11 years.
The meal, which includes an assortment of turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole and more, is meant for those in need, including those without shelter, the elderly, children and their families. It's also meant for those who don't have anyone to spend the holiday with.
"Eleven years ago, I started the idea with my daughter," Zeneta Miller said. "She wanted her children to learn how to give back to the community, so instead of giving gifts, she said, 'Why don't we feed the community?' And this is how we started."
Since then, the food giveaway has grown bigger year after year. The first year of the giveaway, the family gave out 75 to 100 meals. This year, they served more than 250.
"There's a tremendous need, and we're here to meet that need. Giving is better than receiving," said Willie Miller, Zeneta's son.
The Millers said even more important than the food is making sure people feel loved on Christmas Day.
"We want to be a blessing, and we believe we have made an impact on this community through the years," Willie Miller said. "The true meaning is giving back. The real reason for the season is giving back, and for us, giving is not seasonal or occasional. It's a lifestyle."
West Palm Beach Police Chief Frank Adderley came to volunteer this year for exactly that same reason.
"Sometimes, you stop and wonder about what life is all about. Some people really don't get some of the things that we are fortunate to have," Adderley said. "We take these things for granted, and to be able to come out here, on a day like today, and give it to them, I think that's a true blessing for everyone."
Adderley and the others even braved the cold weather to make sure those who needed it had a hot meal this Christmas.
"It's a good cause on a nice, cold Christmas morning," Adderley said.
That effort meant a lot to people like Lawrence Brown, who stopped to get a plate when he was driving by, and saw the white tent full of food and people.
"I saw these nice people passing out food," Brown said. "They were smiling like they were enjoying it. It touched my heart because so many people out here need someone to show us some kindness, and it just made me feel good to see that."
Brown said that's what he believes it's all about: making people feel loved and special on a day that isn't always easy for everybody.
"Especially for Christmas. Not everybody has somebody thinking about them, but we need that every day," Brown said.
The Millers said the reactions from people like Brown are the reason they come out year after year.
"Just to see the smile on their face makes us happy," said brother and sister, Zaveka and Willie Miller.
The food giveaway lasted from noon to 4 p.m. in front of the Millers' home on 23rd Street in West Palm Beach.
The Millers said it's all made possible thanks to generous donors in the community and local restaurants who donate meals or money.
Much of the food is purchased with money from the Millers' own pockets and made by their own hands.
If you would like to get involved next year, you can contact NewsChannel 5 for information on how to contact the family to donate or to volunteer.