“We prayed that something good was going to happen and it happened,” Annual dinner feeds thousands of Oklahomans

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Lines stretched throughout the Cox Convention Center on Monday morning with people waiting for a hot meal.

Event organizers with the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner said roughly 5,000 people were served on Christmas.

"That's about 1,200 pounds of turkey," organizer Gary Goldman said.

Between 400 and 500 volunteers helped serve families and hand out toys Monday, with some beginning their day at 5:30 a.m. Corey Robinson was joined by his basketball teammates from Star Spencer High School.

"We got to hand out food, meet some new people, just give back to the community. It was a good all around experience," Robinson said.

Their coach, Lance Cudjoe, said he hopes the team got as much out of the experience as the people they were helping.

"We wanted to teach morals and responsibility and getting them [team] to understand there are people in life that don’t have it as well as they do," Cudjoe told News 4.

Families were sent home with a box of non-perishable food and winter coats, along with a stuffed animal and toy for every child. This year, Goldman said the amount of toys available were initially slim in comparison to years' past; however, last minute donations helped.

"A lot of people brought toys today. We had to go out and buy some toys, but usually everything gets donated," he said. "We went to Target, got a great discount, bought a couple thousand dollars worth of toys."

Jasmine Bell, an Oklahoma City resident, told News 4 she's thankful for events like the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner.

"I’m actually here today to celebrate because I don’t have any family down here, and I brought my friend down here so we can be together," Bell said. "We prayed that something good was going to happen, and it happened."

Event organizers said donations are accepted beyond Christmas. For more information on the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner, click here.

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