The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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‘Soup Man’ to host sixth annual event, feed 500 homeless people

The “Rocky” theme song is blaring as a hundred members of the high school band play the triumphant melody.

Snow is falling and a 75-foot red carpet stretches toward the door of the Hyatt Regency, lined with nearly one thousand people cheering.

This Christmas Eve, the star treatment is not for any celebrity, but instead for the 500 homeless people from the Dallas area who will participate in the sixth Annual “Celebrate Jesus” event, hosted by the “Soup Man” and his team of volunteers.

“The real inspiration for the event came from the Bible,” said David Timothy, better known as the ‘Soup Man.’

“Two thousand years ago, there was no room at the inn for Baby Jesus. There is nothing we can do about that today, but we can do something for the 500 homeless people this year,” he said.

Timothy’s ministry, the Soup Mobile, began in 2003 and has grown steadily since then.

The Soup Mobile serves meals to the homeless in downtown Dallas; today, it serves more than 200,000 meals per year.

The “Celebrate Jesus” event began in 2005 with only 50 homeless participants and has now expanded to 500 people and more than two thousand volunteers for the weekend.

At nine in the morning on Christmas Eve, buses will bring homeless people to the Hyatt for their red carpet walk.

After registering, each one will receive new clothes donated by the Haggar Clothing Co. and additional gifts.

That night, a huge banquet will be hosted in their honor. The homeless sit at tables and are served by volunteers dressed in tuxedos.

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert is the chief server at the event.

The homeless are shown to their rooms in the Hyatt Regency and given “room in the inn.”

“When they wake up on Christmas, it’s not in a cardboard box in South Dallas, it’s not under a bridge, it’s not in an abandoned building,” Timothy said. “It’s in a warm, safe bed in the Hyatt.”

The Kennard family, of Dallas, has volunteered every year at the “Celebrate Jesus” event.

“It has become a part of our Christmas tradition. It makes our holiday more meaningful,” Betsy Kennard said. “It is a joy to watch them eat, and it’s a joy to serve them.”

The Kennards’ three children also volunteer at the event. Their son Will, 12,  has been volunteering since he was eight years old.

“My favorite part is having the pleasure to serve the homeless and seeing the [smiles] on their [faces] when they get clean clothes, a bed and a shower,” Will Kennard said.

Rusty Kennard is a member of the Board for the Soup Mobile and has been part of the “Celebrate Jesus” event since its inception.

“There are a lot of them that are good people and good Christians that are just down on their luck,” Rusty Kennard said.

“Miss a couple of paychecks, and that could just as easily be one of us.”

The Soup Mobile and the “Celebrate Jesus” event receive funding from individuals and families. It costs $100 to sponsor one homeless person for the Christmas Eve event.


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