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The SoupMan On Making Christmas Bright For 500 Homeless Men, Women And Children
David Timothy started the SoupMobile a decade ago and will put on his Christmas gala for the ninth time this year.

David Timothy’s known as the SoupMan. Every day the charity he started a decade ago out of an old van serves hundreds of meals to the homeless. He’s normally set up just south of Fair Park. But this Christmas Eve – as he’s done for the last nine years. – he’s putting on a Christmas Gala at the downtown Dallas Omni.

He stopped by our studio for a Friday Conversation.


  Interview Highlights: David Timothy on…

…The Christmas Gala: “We’re taking 500, yes 500, homeless men, women and children to the spectacular downtown Dallas Omni Hotel for Christmas. They all get new clothes, fabulous gifts, lots of love. We hold a huge mega banquet in their honor. But most important, when they wake up on Christmas morning, it’s in a warm, safe bed at the Omni. Not in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere.”

…How the gala has changed: “The event has evolved and gotten bigger and bigger. For example, the first year of the event I think we had maybe 50 volunteers who came to help us at the Hyatt. But this year, coming to the Omni, we’ll have more than 2,500 volunteers come from the community to help us with the event.”

…What sparked the idea for the SoupMobile: “I was never homeless myself, but I grew up in a household where food was scarce. So as a child, I experienced hunger on a regular basis, but it wasn’t just the hunger, it was the fear that went with the hunger. Of not knowing if you’d get another meal.  So as I grew up into adulthood that hunger that I experienced as a child gave me real compassion for the homeless who struggle to find food every day.”

…Going back to regular life after a day of serving the homeless: “I keep remembering that God did not send the SoupMan to be the savior of the world. He sent a guy called Jesus. So it’s not our job to save everybody, but I believe it’s our job to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. And I don’t mean just for the SoupMobile, I think for everybody on the planet. Every day when we feed the homeless, not just feeding their stomachs, but we feel like in a very powerful way that we’re      feeding their souls with some hope and some caring and some love and compassion. And we just think that makes a real long-lasting difference.

Check out the SoupMan's wish list here.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.