Film Stars Feed Homeless in Capital : ‘Santa’ Sends $25,000 in Cash to Aid Poor Seattle Children
Hollywood celebrities were hosts at a Christmas Eve feast for homeless people in the nation’s capital Thursday, and an anonymous Santa Claus sent $25,000 for poor children in Seattle along with a note signed, “Merry Christmas. Ho ho ho.”
The thousands of homeless people in Washington were the stars of a bash given by about two dozen celebrities, including Cher, Whoopi Goldberg, Dennis Quaid and Valerie Harper.
The celebrities served up entertainment along with a holiday meal of turkey, ham, greens and mashed potatoes to more than 3,000 people, homeless activist Mitch Snyder said.
Washington’s street people were also the focus of a millionaire’s good will. Andy Barr, 53, who made his fortune in real estate, has given nearly $15,000 worth of sleeping bags and clothes to hundreds of people who cannot afford a roof over their heads.
‘I Am Not a Hero’
“I identify with these people and can see parts of myself in them. I am not a hero,” said Barr, who planned to give out more sleeping bags, socks and other necessities this morning.
President Reagan, meanwhile, made the traditional Christmas Eve calls from the Oval Office to members of the armed services, including a sailor on a Persian Gulf minesweeper and an Army medic in Honduras. The President told the four servicemen and one woman:
“We really appreciate your service. It’s a sacrifice, I know, especially to be away from home at Christmas. Please pass my best to your fellow soldiers and shipmates and let them know we are thinking of you. . . . We are proud of what you are doing. God bless you.”
The Reagans, who are spending Christmas at the White House, were holding their customary Christmas Eve dinner with U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Z. Wick and his family.
Cash in a Plain Package
Christmas came early for a Christian radio station in Seattle, which is sponsoring a drive to raise money to help disadvantaged children. A plain brown paper package arrived at station KCMS by priority mail Wednesday and, when station personnel unwrapped it, they found a shoe box containing $25,000 in $50 and $100 bills.
Suzanne Thunder, station news director, said the money came with a note from an anonymous donor. The note said: “For the children’s Christmas fund. Please distribute evenly among the six ministries. Merry Christmas. Ho ho ho.”
In the little town of Bethlehem, N. H., Postmaster Hilton Newell on Thursday stamped the last of about 40,000 Christmas cards from well-wishers seeking the White Mountain hamlet’s distinctive postmark.
And, in New York, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo granted Christmas Eve clemencies to three state prison inmates. And about 150 inmates of the Harris County, Tex., jail whose misdemeanor sentences were to end by Jan. 14 were released early.