Christmas Day is a special time of year for many around the world, but some folks in Anchorage needed a place that felt like home.

Volunteers, including Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his family, served meals Wednesday to people in need at Brother Francis Shelter and Beans Cafe. 

"This is the day of giving, this is the day for folks to volunteer. It's a day of hope," said Dunleavy, who was joined by his wife Rose and one of their daughters in the morning at Brother Francis Shelter. "We do this periodically. We try to do it under the radar."

The governor handed out breakfast sandwiches with biscuits made by Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson volunteers, while his wife and daughter served coffee and other beverages.

Later in the day, there was plenty more to enjoy during a buffer dinner at Bean's Cafe.

"We've cooked over 1,000 pounds of roast beef, 700 pieces of chicken, all of the sides, including ambrosia salad," said executive director Lisa Sauder. "It's just not Christmas without that, right?"

Sauder said they never know exactly how many people will show up for the Christmas meal, but they always try to make more than enough.

"We want to make sure we have enough food for everybody to also have seconds," she said.

Some people there for dinner said the gathering is about more than having something to eat.

"It's a time of fellowship, get to know, hang out with friends," said Steven Pedote, one of the people who came for the meal.

"I'm thankful for people that have cared and having an open heart for the holidays," said Ken Lindoff, another client.

They believe meals like this serve a valuable lesson for everyone.

"By helping others, you're actually helping yourself," said Pedote.

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