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Thanksgiving for the homeless on grounds of Capitol | News

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Thanksgiving for the homeless on grounds of Capitol

WASHINGTON (WUSA9)-- On this Thanksgiving Day, a Springfield, Virginia ministry known as Lucas 4:18 made history by hosting a feast in an unprecedented location.

Volunteers cooked a traditional meal, set up tables from which to serve it and even provided transportation. 

"Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone," screamed Maryann Blackman. There was no mistaking just how much she appreciated having a Thanksgiving meal, prepared by volunteers.

"To have the meal all laid out for us is a blessing from heaven," she said. 

The meal itself was traditional. The location--highly symbolic. On the grounds of the United States Capitol.

"The contrast of having such a powerful thing be here in the back and then bring people that are homeless, broken-hearted, that they may not have had a pillow to sleep on last night," said Daliana Gandarillas, from the Lucas 4:18 Ministry.

Some volunteers started their day at three in the morning, just to prepare enough food to serve about a hundred people. 

"To see them happy. To see that they can get a warm meal. To give them a hug. And to give them love. That's what motivates me," said volunteer Martha Heymann.

She and other volunteers set up tables offering clothing, blankets and even, manicures, to make those who are down on their luck feel special.

"I've made some bad choices in my life. Just want God and everyone else to give me an opportunity to step back up in life and be the better person I want to be and am able to be. I just need an opportunity," said Aaron Colbert, who is 54 years old and homeless.

The Lucas 4:18 ministry provides meals to the homeless not just on Thanksgiving, but year-round. 

Written by Andrea McCarren, WUSA9

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