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(NECN: Ally Donnelly, Boston, Mass.) - Hundreds of volunteers celebrated the holiday by giving back. The Celtics' Glen Davis helped serve meals to homeless men and women at the Pine Street Inn. For the Celtics forward, today has special meaning. Carol Mealey chops celery for stuffing. The 72-year-old semi-retired teacher from Morwood, Mass. has been volunteering at oston's Pine Street Inn for nearly 15 years. "I love it, it's great," Mealey said. "I look forward to it. Every Christmas Day and every Thanksgiving day." For a number of Thanksgiving days, she's been towing along her grown son, Bobby. "He was just sitting around doing nothing and I thought, get out! Get out! C'mon," Mealey said. The pair is among hundreds of volunteers who have spent the week readying a Thanksgiving feast for about 1500 homeless men, women and children in the Boston area. Forty-year-old John, who didn't want to give his last name, is a laid off carpenter from Beverly. He says he's been homeless for about a week, but has been on a bumpy road much longer. "Just mishaps and I'm trying to get over 'em right now," John said. "Hopefully it's only gonna last a couple weeks, but if it don't, ya know, I have a place over my head every night." John and the other clients got a boost this holiday -- a visit from Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis. Davis says growing up with a drug-abusing mother in Louisiana, at 14, he was homeless too. "I lot of situations where I didn't know where my next meal is growing up," Davis said. "I know how important that is: to have a home and belong." It certainly isn't news that these are tough times. Unemployment numbers are up, cash is tight and social service agencies have been hit hard by state budget cuts. Pine Street says they're seeing new populations of homeless. There are about 7000 homeless people in Boston alone. Pine Street has beds for 700 and fits as many others as they can on the floor. With Winter fast approaching, advocates say they are desperate for help.