Phillies serve holiday dinner at Philadelphia homeless shelter

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Phillies and the Phanatic helped give back to those in need as part of their holiday tradition.

Past and present members of the organization served meals to the homeless in Spring Garden on Monday mornings.

Disguised as “Phanta Claus”, the Phanatic and his team members, his elves, not only spread good cheer, but also served much-needed holiday meals to our neighbors in dire need.

This has been a Phillies holiday tradition for 23 years: volunteering at the Bethesda Project’s Our Brother’s Place, one of Philadelphia’s largest homeless shelters.

“They bring good cheer, good food, and really help lift the spirits around the holidays,” said Tina Pagotto, CEO of the Bethesda Project.

The shelter knows this has been a big year for the Phillies, so they value their time more than ever.

“The holidays are very difficult for the homeless,” says Kharisma Goldston, director of Our Brother’s Place Shelter. “It’s so nice to have the team come and give us a sense of normalcy. It’s so nice to know the Phillies are thinking of us at this difficult time.”

More than 125 guests were served a home-cooked Christmas dinner by the Phillies family.

65 of the team’s front office volunteers prepared the meals with help from GIANT Company and Liberty Coke.

The event is part of the Phillies Season of Giving where they pass it on with various charity events.

“The response has been wonderful,” said David Buck, Phillies executive vice president. “It makes you feel good. They thank us and we want to thank them for allowing us to come in. A few people cried. It’s really, really heartwarming.”

One resident said he looks forward to it all year.

“A lot of us have been here a while,” says Billy McAllister. “We look forward to the end of the year and we know this will happen.”

The Bethesda Project has been around since 1979.

They call it “a family for those who have none”.

Click here to find out how you can help.

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