PORTLAND, Ore. -- Local nonprofits and homeless centers did all they could to create a holiday experience for local families in need on Christmas day.

At the downtown YWCA. 1,500 guests enjoyed a banquet style Christmas meal, while enjoying live jazz music from some of Portland's best-known musicians, including saxophonist Patrick Lamb and pianist Tom Grant.

At the Union Gospel Mission, over 750 homeless were served a hot meal including Christmas ham. Dozens of sleeping bags and warm clothes were handed out to those in need.

Hundreds of other families took time out of their own celebrations to volunteer. Some brought their kids, hoping to pass on a lesson about the true meaning of Christmas.

It s important for them to see that what they have in life is good...and that there are people who are worse off, said Maureen Valdez, a mother who brought her daughter along to help out.

It s nice helping out other people, said her daughter, Elora Danan Valdez.

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