Local Church serves hundreds on Christmas Day - KOAM TV 7

Local Church serves hundreds on Christmas Day

For close to 40 years, First Community Church in Joplin has held a Christmas dinner.

"We feel that nobody should be alone on Christmas," said church member Jim Everitt. 

The annual dinner has been held at the church for 39 years. It was free and open to the public. 

"We just feel it's a worthwhile project, and it's very heartwarming to talk to these people that don't have a place to go," said Everitt. 

50 to 60 volunteers have been prepping for a week and a half to serve the hundreds that attend, or call in orders. 

 "It gives us an opportunity to share with other people what he (Jesus) has shared with us, giving," said church member Mary Ann Edwards.

793 people were served this year and the church plans on holding the event again next year. 

This is the 39th First Community Church Christmas Dinner and if this year is anything like last year, some 800 dinners will be served Christmas Day.

"That's what we plan each year and that seems to be the right number. Last year, if we had any food left over, there wasn't much," Jim said.

 This year's dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Community Church, 2007 E. 15th St. The menu will feature ham and turkey along with traditional sides of dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, salad, green beans and desserts.

 Delivery and take-out orders also will be taken. Last year, some 300 meals were delivered and, with the sort of weather we've experienced lately, volunteers are bracing for a brisk delivery business again this year.

 If you would like to have a meal, either delivered or available for take-out, you need to call the First Community Church from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday or from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The phone number to call is 417-781-1800.

 On Tuesday, volunteers were already at the church working doing early prep work for the dinner. That work will continue through the week and then will likely ramp up next week as it gets closer to Christmas.

 On Christmas Day, volunteers will start sleepily stumbling into the church kitchen at around 5 a.m. And then there will be a steady stream of foods going in and coming out of the church kitchen ovens. There will be hams and turkeys to be sliced, potatoes to be mashed and gravy to be made. There will salads to put together and dressing to be mixed. There will be … well, you get the idea.

 And then, sometime around 5 p.m., those same volunteers will stumble for home and when they get there they will be tired.

 It will be a good kind of tired.

 Do you have an idea for Mike Pound's column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.


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