Family serves community at Rescue Mission this Christmas while remembering beloved family member

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For the past 5 years, the Brown family has spent their Christmas volunteering at the Rescue Mission’s annual Christmas meal.

15 years ago on Christmas day, the family lost their loved one in a car accident.

“The time that we lost John, we know that there’s nothing that God does, that he doesn’t make mistakes and what better way to honor him and our Christ is to come out and do something community based. So, we figured well let’s see if we can volunteer down at the Rescue Mission and see if they can take us and it all worked out beautifully,” said Jacqueline Brown-Saddler, volunteer and John’s aunt.

Giving back each year has become a tradition for the Brown’s. It’s a way for the family to serve others right in their own community.

“That’s why we are here and again, we do it in memory of Johnny but at the same time we do it to help support others, to give smile, to give love, to give hugs, to let people know that we do care,” said Brown-Saddler.

“The rescue mission Christmas meal is the epitome of how our community comes together to support the work we do and to show love and compassion and dignity in our community,” said Dan Sieburg, CEO of the Syracuse Rescue Mission.

That same love they have for Johnny, shown to each of those who came to the Rescue Mission this Christmas.

“It’s about life, it’s about living and it’s about allowing people to know that there is a way out. There is hope, there is somebody who loves you, there is somebody that cares. There is somebody who can offer you a meal,” said Brown-Saddler.

For the Brown Family, the spirit of their beloved Johnny will continue to live on forever.

“He’s with us all the time, he’s shining down on us and he knows we’re doing this in his memory,” said Brown-Saddler.

To learn more about the Rescue Mission, click here.

For more local news, follow Adrienne Smith on Twitter @AdrienneSmithTV

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