Festive music rang out from Dave Doroghy, who’s been attending the annual Christmas meal for the past 25 years.
Wiedenfeld stayed at her post for an 11-hour shift because of The Salvation Army’s volunteer shortage this season.
For some people, it could be the loneliest day of the year, so it provided a chance to mingle over a cooked meal, Hall said.
“At times I’ve had nothing”.
“It takes the donor, picking the name off a tree, buying a gift; volunteers making sure they are accounted for in the warehouse and delivered to the family”, said Ryerson, who oversees the local chapter with his wife, Analese.
There were more locations than bell ringers this year, and The Salvation Army was trying to recruit more ringers, according to Wilson.
“It’s an opportunity for people that don’t have a place to be with family and friends, and be with a new family and make new friends”, said Nancy Dihle with the Salvation Army.
Despite, the cold temperatures, those who came in, enjoyed a plate full of food, like Edith Peoples, who has been enjoying the free meal every Christmas for the past six years.
“We’re working on pies, heating up and getting the ham ready, the chicken and dressing and the corn, the green beans”.
This is the couple’s final year hosting the Christmas dinner as they are retiring. And, for 15 years before that she helped the Knight of Columbus prepare a Christmas feast. This one being their last.
Donations to the kettle campaign are still being accepted online at www.fillthekettle.com, at the local Salvation Army office, or via mail.
“I don’t know what I would do during the holiday season if I wasn’t bell ringing”, Thompson said.
Heath said she feels blessed whenever she gets to share the message of The Salvation Army with others.
“Help me fill out a resume or application, anything you need to complete each task, if you can’t figure it out, they’ll help you figure it out”.
As others around the world are unwrapping presents, people consider the warm food and the company of others a simple gift. “You want to make it even more special to help explain and share what Christmas is truly all about”.
“There’s people that live in a homeless shelter like me and they put this on for the community to give back”, Waldron, said. “It’s all just spiritual and kindness and it’s all just from their hearts”.
Scott plays all the Christmas carols from memory, a feat he says isn’t too hard because of his years as a professional musician.
Grider says they normally host a lunch on Christmas Eve for the homeless but this time made a decision to host a dinner at its emergency shelter.