Mother, daughter help Metropolitan Ministries families during the holidays

- You won't find Lisa Bedrosian and her 16-year-old daughter Grace scouting malls during the holidays, looking for the perfect gifts.

For the past several years, they've been giving their time, volunteering at the Metropolitan Ministries holiday tent to make sure other families have a good Christmas.

"I'm the mother of 8 children and part of it was really to just have our kids understand that their world was just more than our home and our neighborhood", said Lisa.

They divide and conquer in the massive tent.

Lisa works with other volunteer leaders and in the donor area.

"We want to give our clients the best service we possibly can", said Lisa.

Grace is working in the kid zone, taking care of children while their parents pick out their food and gift items.

"It's more fulfilling than spending a few hours at the mall,  seeing the kids smiling and coloring and spending time with one another is so much more impactful than spending on myself ", said Grace. 

"It kind of helps that we have areas that we kind of call our own so we can avoid some of the tension that can come but it's fun it's fun to share stories", said Lisa.

Lisa's other children have also stepped in to help.

"Almost all of them have served in some kind of leadership capacity", said Lisa.

It makes her proud to witness the gift her kids are getting out of it, especially Grace.

"I'm just so thankful that she recognizes that she gets to give back that she gets to be a part of making a difference. It isn't about her parents or that we want her or expect her to be here it's that she wants to be here as well", said Lisa.

"I see a lot of these kids come in with nothing and they might have a single mom or a single dad or living with their grandparents and that's so different in the way i was raised. Things weren't handed to me,  but they were in a way" , said Grace.

While many families will be home for the holidays, the Bedrosians plan to be with families at Metropolitan Ministries.

"We've decided Christmas Eve this year instead of going to church as a family we're going to come spend the day here and help families get their food and toys and get their Christmas together. It will be a great way to spend the day together as a family", said Lisa.

Metropolitan Ministries will be taking donations up until Christmas Eve at the holiday tent, located at 905 N. Governor Street in Tampa. For information on how to help, go to metromin.org.

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