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Concordia welcomes indigent seniors for Christmas lunch

WATCH ABOVE: For the last 3 years, Hospitality Concordia has been working closely with organization Pas de la Rue to feed some of Montreal’s less fortunate seniors citizens. Rachel Lau has the story.

MONTREAL – The Christmas spirit is in full swing at Concordia’s Loyola campus.

While many of us are getting our homes ready for Christmas festivities with family, the university has made it their mission to welcome some of Montreal’s most poverty-stricken seniors into their home.

“This morning when we were about to leave, everybody had a smile on their face,” said Sebastien Payeur, the Director of Pas de la Rue.

“They’re really happy to be together and enjoy a good meal and enjoy this joyful atmosphere.”

Almost 100 underprivileged seniors from the Pas de la Rue shelter traveled together to Loyola for the annual Christmas lunch.

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“I want to know what it’s like, the beauty of Christmas and gifts and everything,” said Marie Delmar-Thibodeau.

“We’re grateful to the people who provide us with the food,” said Michel Montmarquette.

This collaboration between organization and university started three years ago.

It’s the first time the event is being held on campus.

“We try always to welcome them with a sense of family to help them reconnect with a sense of dignity,” said Payeur.

“With Hospitality Concordia, for the first time at their place, it’s really giving that sense of family.”

Volunteers and staff at Hospitality Concordia worked hard over the last few weeks to organize the lunch – smiling faces and a full house are all the compensation they need.

“I definitely recognize some faces,” said Petra Alves of Hospitality Concordia.

“Everybody’s really happy that they can be a part of this and have a nice meal. It’s just nice to bring that happiness to people around the holidays.”

Behind every person, there is an experience and a story.

Robert Jourdain, who was once homeless, said it’s kindness like this that helped him get back on his feet.

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“We always think that nobody cares about anyone but that’s not true,” he said.

“This is wonderful. But it’s also like a family having a party for Christmas. It’s good.”

The best gift the men and women received here is one without a price tag.

It’s the magic of Christmas.