Community comes together for Christmas

Jonah Toporchak, 13, and Andrew ffolliott, 11, make cookies at St. James School. - Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star
Jonah Toporchak, 13, and Andrew ffolliott, 11, make cookies at St. James School.
— image credit: Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star

Christmas is supposed to be a time for family and friends, but, unfortunately, many find themselves alone.

That’s why plans are underway for the fourth annual Together for Christmas dinner Dec. 25 in Vernon.

“We want to get the word out so we have more people attending,” said Ron Birch, an organizer.

In some cases, there may be a misconception about who is invited.

“It’s not just about the homeless or people in the lower economic strata,” said Joe Dorval, an organizer.

“It’s for all people who don’t have anyone to share Christmas with. We don’t want anyone to be alone.”

Those attending could range from seniors with no loved ones around, to travelling businessmen, couples whose children have moved away, or entire families.

“We want to see more families with children,” said Birch.

Meals can be provided to those who are physically unable to attend the event and transportation to Together for Christmas will be available.

To make arrangements, call Birch at 250-545-0383 or Dorval at 250-503-1945.

About 170 people sat down for dinner last year and that means volunteers are required to do everything from cooking and serving to security, set-up and parking.

There are volunteer shifts for Dec. 23, 24, 25 and 27.

Specific jobs will be given to volunteers and anyone wanting to volunteer can call 250-545-6726.

If you are not selected to volunteer, you are still invited to attend the dinner.

Support for Together for Christmas has come from a number of individuals and groups in the community, including the Upper Room Mission.

“The community has really blessed this event,” said Birch.

Together for Christmas takes place Dec. 25 at St. James Parish Hall (in St. James School), with doors opening at 2:30 p.m. There will be crafts and entertainment and dinner will start being served at 4 p.m.

Birch says he and the others involved in organizing are looking forward to spreading the joy of the season.

“The people who come to dinner have no idea of how much of a gift they give us,” he said.


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