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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — While many spent their Christmas Day opening gifts and sipping eggnog, some are giving back.

The Kennedy Family was in downtown New Orleans on Christmas Day, handing out meals to homeless people.

“Well, it’s just the spirit of the holiday with Christmas. We just wanted to help out as much as we can,” said Greg Kennedy. “So, it’s an idea that Marie came up with, my wife, that we were going to make some food, and we’ve done it for the last few years, coming out here and just handing out a meal to everybody and hoping to make their Christmas a little nicer.”

The family has been distributing food to those in need on December 25 for a few years now. 

“They have nowhere to go, and especially on Christmas Day…” Marie Kennedy continued, “For some reason, it just was weighing heavy on my heart last year, and so I came up with, ‘hey, let’s make a big spaghetti,’ and we involve our kids in it, too.”

The couple says sharing the experience with their kids makes the work that more special.

“It’s easy to drive down the street and see homeless people but really not get a chance to know them.,” said Greg. “My kids got a chance to talk to them, and I think it really touched their hearts a lot.”

The Kennedys believe acts like this are the reason for the season, and the smiles and appreciation they receive make the day even more worth it. 

“The first year we did it, we all kind of drove away kind of teary-eyed, so it’s just when you’re fortunate enough to have things, you really need to give back, and so we found it was special to do on Christmas Day,” said Marie.