Salvation Army Harbour Light near Cordova & Main St. on the Downtown Eastside served a full turkey dinner on Christmas day. There were volunteers of all kinds. There was even one boy about 13 years old serving from a steam tray. Another teenage boy was serving tables. There was a Jewish couple, Ezra and his wife, serving from steam trays. All the volunteers were friendly and warm.
The dining hall was full, with new people constantly coming in from the waiting room. The wait was about 15 minutes in the waiting room where they played Christmas music. There was a red banner at the front of the room with something on it about accepting "Christ", but there was not a heavy emphasis on religion.
There was the occasional double-dipper. One guy who looked downtrodden said he had come through the waiting room twice so he was on his second turkey dinner, but he was too full to eat a second apple pie. So he offered it to the guy beside him who thanked him a couple of times. Another guy eating a dinner asked a middle-aged male server if he could take a second dinner home in a take-out container. The male server said they occasionally allow that but don't like to make a practice of it; a little later, a female server gave him a second dinner in a styrofoam take-out container.
Everybody who ate dinner was handed a gift as they walked out the door. The gifts were things people could use, like winter gloves or socks. And the gift packages included a couple of candy canes, a mini chocolate bar, and chocolates wrapped to look like large gold coins.
The Salvation Army runs on government funding as well as donations. But the people serving were volunteering their time.
There was a television camera at the dinner for a while too. But not during the entire dinner.