Sulzbacher Center hosts holiday meal

About 1,500 fed on Christmas day, received gifts from Santa


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Sulzbacher Center helped those less fortunate this Christmas by hosting a free holiday breakfast.

Each person that attended the breakfast was served eggs, bacon, waffles and more.

Kevin Nacke, director of food services for the Sulzbacher Center said the staff goes out of its way to make this breakfast extra special.

"It is Christmas, it is a cold day outside, we just want to make sure everybody's happy and if you're hungry you're taken care of with food. We do linens and tablecloths... a little bit nicer than what we normally do to try to make it special for everybody," said Nacke.

Betty Montgomery said she's homeless and admits this breakfast made her emotional.

"I walked in and it made me want to cry and I appreciate it so much and I thank god... I don't have any family here so it's great," said Montgomery.

The breakfast began around 6 a.m. Wednesday and each person also received a stocking filled with gifts. Santa also made an appearance at the breakfast, greeting children and spending time with families.

(Debrah Leon and Brook Leon (daughter) - lives at Sulzbacher Center)
"It means a lot... it really does," said Debrah Leon.

Leon lives at the Sulzbacher Center with her daughter Brooke and says she is thankful for the Sulzbacher Center helping her family out during these tough times.

"They give you a place to live, they give you food to eat, they give children lots of presents for Christmas. They have tutoring programs and they have all kinds of children activities, they do a lot," said Leon.

Staff at the Sulzbacher Center estimates that it'll feed about 1,500 people on Christmas day. A busy time for volunteers and staff, but well worth it.

"The community's a great involvement, they always donate a lot to us, they make sure we have what we need so it's a great opportunity to give back to those a little bit less fortunate during the holidays... We want to make sure everybody has a good meal, we want to make sure it's hot, we want to make sure everybody enjoys it and as long as that's happening everyday - that's my job and that's what I like to do," said Nacke.

"I love everybody here and this breakfast is soo good... it was delicious, the best breakfast I've had since I've been here. Being around these people makes me feel good inside. And everybody treats everybody nice, especially the staff... They always make you feel welcome and feel like you're somebody. When you're down and out like that you feel like you're all alone, but coming here makes you feel like a person," said Montgomery.

The children and adults currently living at the Sulzbacher Center received gifts. The children had a special meet and greet with Santa himself Wednesday morning making this event one they'll never forget.

For more information on the Sulzbacher Center and how you can help out, visit their website at http://www.sulzbachercenter.org/.