The Salvation Army celebrated its annual Christmas meal at the Tucson Convention Center Monday, providing hundreds of free meals for the community.

A dedicated team of more than 200 volunteers worked tirelessly to prepare more than 1,000 warm Christmas meals, ensuring that more people could enjoy the holiday with a sense of community.

Christopher Kim, city coordinator for the Salvation Army, expressed his gratitude for the volunteers’ hard work, stating, “It’s a blessing for me, really.”

Kim emphasized that the Christmas meals were open to everyone, regardless of their circumstances, stating, “We’re here no matter what happens, no matter where you are in your life. We’re here to serve you guys.”

For Kim, giving to others is not just a duty but a calling. “To be able to just say, ‘Hey, here’s an extra meal on a day that you might not be able to get one,’ so we were able to do that,” he said.

The spirit of generosity extended beyond the Salvation Army’s dedicated team, as hundreds of volunteers gave up their Christmas to help others. Tina Malko, a volunteer, shared her perspective, saying, “because we have so much, and we need to be grateful for that and give to those that don’t have anything.”

Renee Myers, another volunteer, echoed the sentiment, describing the experience as “wonderful” and noting that it made it feel like Christmas. Myers expressed the importance of community, explaining, “Our family really enjoys this. We go to Salvation Army church, where we do boots on the ground with them. So, we come to support them, and we love the entertainment. Most of our family is back in Illinois, so it’s nice to be around other people also.”

As attendees enjoyed their meals, the festivities included singing and dancing performances, creating a holiday tradition that will continue in the upcoming years.