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Jacksonville Jewish community helps feed the hungry on Christmas

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Updated: 12/25/2013 3:45 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jewish community in Mandarin woke up a little early on Christmas Day.

More than 60 volunteer drivers showed up to pick up 420 meals.

"It feels good. It's the right thing to do," said volunteer Jerry Sachs.

The drivers then delivered the meals to seniors, including Florence Coleman.

"If I was able to do things I used to do, I would get out there to help people," said Coleman, a Meals on Wheels recipient.

Wiatt Bowers with The Congregation Ahavath Chesed board of trustees, helped organize the event this year.
He says Christmas may be a Christian holiday, but the Jewish community in Jacksonville enjoys volunteering and honoring the bond the two religions share.

"Judaism talks about acts of love and kindness; it doesn't differentiate religion. But the interesting thing is this gives us an opportunity on Christmas Day that allows the regular workers to be at home with their families," said Bowers.

Bowers says the Jewish volunteers give Meals on Wheels workers the holiday off, so they can stay home for Christmas, but still allow the work to be done.

"It's good to have people that care about people, and that's what this world is about," said Coleman.

After the meals are delivered, the volunteers will be delivering more than 5,000 sweets to fire stations and police sub-stations around Jacksonville.

Bowers told Action News all the meals cost about $1,200.
He says the food is paid for partially by Aging True and the other part would come from the synagogue's social action

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