Metropolitan Ministries brightens the holiday for 1,800+ families

Metropolitan Ministries photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Millions of kids and kids-at-heart anxiously wait for Christmas to arrive. But for some who struggle to get by, they have anxiety of a different kind — trying to figure out how to afford gifts or put food on the table.

So on Christmas Day, Metropolitan Ministries lent a helping hand. The non-profit handed out presents to 100 homeless families, including hundreds of children.

“One word couldn’t explain the excitement of me and my families. We’re blessed, I couldn’t ask for a better Christmas,” said recipient Lakysha Hughes.

Childhood is such a precious time and these children should not know starvation or fear on Christmas; they should experience joy. And it was all thanks to kind and charitable donors and volunteers here in Tampa Bay.

“It’s been a wonderful experience for me and my family. We love giving back, and this is the perfect way to do it to end the year,” said volunteer Kimberly Clarke.

But it didn’t end there. These families were treated to free family portraits thanks to a renowned Tampa photographer. And after all this Christmas cheer, these families had to eat! Metropolitan Ministries provided more than 1,800 meals.

“We are just so blessed to have the support from the community all season long to make this happen today,” said Ariel Dewitt with Metropolitan Ministries.

Get this, it included 450 pounds of ham, 500 pounds of sweet potatoes and 200 pies.

Santa could always use a little help this time of year, and thankfully, the Tampa Bay community met the challenge. Instead of going without, these families had a very merry Christmas.

In all, more than 1,800 families have received meals and toys over this holiday season. And it’s all thanks to generous donations from the Tampa Bay community. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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