OKLAHOMA CITY - What started out as a simple gift to the homeless, is now turning into a life calling.
A woman from Edmond who was once nearly homeless herself, is making sure others on the streets in downtown OKC don’t go hungry.
“It means a lot,” said a person who attended. “It means a lot. It’s a blessing.”
There were smiles, hugs and tears as over 50 plates filled with a warm, home-cooked meal were given out, for free to those in need.
“I’m blessed and I love y’all for all of this,” said another person who attended.
It all started on a few days ago when Whitney Bates took her own Christmas dinner leftovers downtown.
“I had like 7 meals and they were gone in like less than 5 minutes and there were still people asking for meals and I felt so bad,” said Bates.
She felt called to start a GoFundMe page to bring more meals to them.
Not even a week later, local sponsors are donating money to help her pay for the food.
“If everybody bans together, this thing could really grow and we could really impact the community,” said J.T. Lane, GM of Burn by Rocky Patel.
“It makes me so happy,” said Bates. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world, really.”
Bates says she knows what it’s like to walk in their shoes.
“I kind of had a rough upbringing and a rough start in my early 20’s,” said Bates. “There was a time when I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from.”
She hopes to inspire others to give this holiday season and to remember that one person can make a difference.
“If I would’ve just had that one person that gave me a meal or anything, and if I can be that for them then that means everything to me,” said Bates.
If you would like to help Bates, she started a website called Feed It Forward OKC.
Her goal is to give 100 meals per week for an entire year, if not longer.