Fort Worth

Christmas comes early for Fort Worth homeless

Love and Light Ministries in Fort Worth took a Christmas tree to five places where homeless people congregate. The people got to choose gifts of backpacks stuffed with useful items. This stop was in Glenwood Park in Fort Worth on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015.
Love and Light Ministries in Fort Worth took a Christmas tree to five places where homeless people congregate. The people got to choose gifts of backpacks stuffed with useful items. This stop was in Glenwood Park in Fort Worth on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. Star-Telegram

Homeless people don’t have a place for a Christmas tree. So, the tree came to them Tuesday night.

Under a 7    1/2 -foot tree sparkling with lights and ornaments they found gifts —backpacks filled with Christmas cards, $10 Jack in the Box gift cards, hats, gloves, flashlights and various toiletries.

At five stops, volunteers with Love and Light Ministries in Fort Worth sang carols and served holiday fare. The homeless men and women selected their backpacks from under the mobile tree.

“It’s depressing to be homeless. I hope it brings them some joy,” Love and Light founder Heather Dixon said.

Dixon, who once lived out of her car and had a drug habit, usually takes food to homeless people on Tuesday nights. For Christmas, she wanted them to be able to pick a gift from under a tree.

So volunteers hoisted a tree onto a flatbed hooked up to a white van and drove to places including Glenwood Park, a bridge under Interstate 35W and East Rosedale Street, and bus stops.

“It’s important to let them know that you see them and they are not invisible, they are not shadows,” Dixon said.

The Christmas event cost about $10,000 for the 175 backpacks, food, decorations and supplies. Donations came from businesses, church groups and cheerleaders, she said.

Monica S. Nagy

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