Thousands lined up early Wednesday morning outside downtown Los Angeles' Midnight Mission in anticipation of a Christmas meal and gifts.
The Midnight Mission's annual Christmas brunch was preceeded by a gift giveway for children. Thousands of toys also were distributed to children at the Mission's Santa Village. Each child received four toys, which are donated to the Mission, as they entered a room filled with items.
Liza Narvaez, a parent of nine children, has been waiting at the Mission for the event since Monday. She has attended the volunteer-driven effort for 10 years.
Organizers began preparing for the holiday event in October. About 300 volunteers worked in the kitchen Wednesday morning.
"Southern Californian's get it -- they understand it's about building community," said Midnight Mission president Larry Adamson. "They do a great job of supporting us not just this time of the year, but all year long."