Omni Dallas Rolls Out Red Carpet for Homeless on Christmas Eve

For 24 hours, the Omni in Downtown Dallas is rolling out the red carpet, treating 560 homeless people to a holiday they'll never forget.

"I'm so excited to see the people come through and see their smiling faces as they walk," said Courtney Kleinenbroich, a seventh-grader who made the trip from Plano to help.

It's become a Christmas Eve tradition -- seven years running for the hotel, and 14 for SoupMobile Church. And then there's the 2,500 volunteers, like Kleinenbroich, making it happen.

"We like to come out here and be kind and take care of the people and show that it's the season of giving, that we can give back to them," she said.

"I can't even put into words. It just feels nice to give back to people who don't have," said Sunshine McLawhorn, of Dallas.

The special guests arrived in the morning. By lunchtime, they made their way to a gala.

Inside they dined on gourmet meals. Mayor Mike Rawlings was one of the many servers.

"We have got a wonderful mixed green salad. Short ribs with loaded potatoes and red wine gravy," Rawlings said, reading the menu.

After the chocolate cake, Grammy award-winning artist Tamela Mann performed. She also shared her inspirational story of digging through dumpsters and overcoming obstacles -- a message that resonated with Violet Monday.

"I'm a fighter, not a quitter. I put it all in his [God's] hands and he's helped me all these years," she said.

At 72, she's working to get back on her feet, which is what this whole event is about. By next Christmas, Monday said she planned to be in her own apartment. But for this one -- she's thankful for a night without worry.

"It's been wonderful, wonderful. I feel like I'm in dreamland," she said.

All 560 guests will stay the night for free and wake up Christmas morning with new clothes, shoes and toys for the children.

If you're unfamiliar with SoupMobile, it's a faith-based nonprofit that works to feed and shelter the homeless year-round. Through it's holiday partnership with Omni, the organization chooses the guests who attend, and the hotel provides all the food.

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