As organizers of the annual Community Christmas Day Dinner prepare for its final seating at White Rock’s First United Church, the call is out for volunteers to help one last time.
“After 36 years, the dinner, which has been a Christmas celebration for many thousands of guests, will have to reinvent itself in the years to come,” Chip Barrett said in an email.
“However, there is work to do in preparation for this year’s dinner.”
Volunteers are needed both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, for tasks including decorating the hall, peeling vegetables, washing dishes, plating and cleaning up.
“About 70 volunteers share their Christmas with others and are very much a part of the celebration,” Barrett said.
This year is the dinner’s last at the church due to planned redevelopment of the historic site, located at 15385 Semiahmoo Ave.
The free event was created by late city gardener George Bryant and other like-minded volunteers – including the late Rev. Howard Filsinger – who determined that nobody should have to feel lonely or alone on Christmas day.
It’s touted as a chance to get together with friends and strangers and share the warmth and fellowship of the season. Guests – the dinner usually hosts more than 200 of all ages, plus more than 60 volunteers – are served a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and treated to an informal retelling of the scriptural story as well as a visit from Santa.
To volunteer for the dinner – or to reserve a seat or request a ride – contact Sources at 604-542-4357; volunteer drivers are asked to call Bill Wallace 604-531-9865.