KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) A local restaurant opened its doors on Christmas, giving back those in need of a hot meal.
For Nickie Keene, coming to Henderson's Family Restaurant on Christmas Day, has become an annual tradition that goes back 22 years.
"Look at the people, look at the faces, look at the love, look at the sharing of each other. It ain't the gifts you get underneath the tree, it's the love and sharing like these people in their hearts," he said.
The free meal was for anyone in need, including the homeless, senior citizens and soldiers who are single.
Keene says the restaurant is a blessing.
"They are God's children and has Jesus love in their hearts. They don't do this for fame or fortune. They do it out of their hearts because they love their humanity," he said.
Keene added that the peace within his heart after leaving the restaurant keeps him coming back year after year.
"This right here is like an anchor point within Killeen," he said.
Inside, between 500 to 600 people were served a meal. They were also given a Christmas bag filled with non-perishable food, personal hygiene products, and the children received a toy.
The bags were put together by Lifeway Fellowship Church.
"This is about giving back to the community and showing Christ love. Showing what Christmas is really about," Robin Mather said.
The Christmas bags put a big smile on the faces of everyone.
"Coming out here, how did it feel to come out here and get some food and now you have some toys from Santa?" News 10's Brandon Hamilton asked.
"I felt happy," 10-year-old Wayne S. replied.
Happiness and spreading the holiday joy, putting a stamp on what the season is all about.