Christmas morning, at 7:45, everyone met at our appointed spot. All of our helpers brought family members to assist. We loaded all the stockings into the back of a volunteer's truck and headed for the freeway underpasses of Las Vegas.

Under some of them, homeless people were still asleep with blankets pulled over their heads, trying to keep out the cold. We quietly left the stockings, candy canes, and bottled water. I felt like Santa must feel, helping in the dark and quiet with the only reward coming from his own heart.

One large intersection had a lot of men living under it. We left stockings, candy canes, and quarters with a brief message that I shouted out to the men, now starting to stir: "Please call home. Someone does care and wants to know you're all right." One man shouted back, "God bless you!"

Next, we headed to the Salvation Army kitchen. By now it was 10:15, and there were lots of people. We asked the guard's permission and gave him the blankets we had collected and 1,000 toothbrushes, and then we started to hand out stockings. They were so thankful for the little we did. For most, it was all they received for Christmas.


In the car on our way back, my husband and I talked about next year. If we started right then, we thought, how many more stockings could we hand out next Christmas?

Christmas is a gift, a time to give love to all. Angels touch our world every day, not just at Christmas time. If you are willing to listen, they'll touch your life too.

Editor's Note: Mari and her husband expanded their service to the homeless by serving breakfast in the park every Sunday morning. Mari returned to school and completed her degree in ministry, received her ordination, and moved to Arizona, where she and her husband still work with the homeless. When the angels woke her up with their song of love, they really woke her up!


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