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P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Christmas dinner help needed
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Wanted: Hundreds of volunteers to help prepare, serve and deliver meals as part of an annual Christmas Day dinner for the needy.
“Richard’s Dinner” will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 25 in the First Baptist Church fellowship hall at the corner of Starling Avenue and Mulberry Road. The dinner, held for more than two decades, is named after Richard Sarver, one of its founders and participants who died last year.
Organizer Scott Norman said several hundred volunteers will be needed, especially on Christmas Day, including “dozens and dozens of drivers” to deliver meals locally to people who cannot come to the church.
At least 1,450 meals were served as part of last year’s dinner, and at least 80 percent of them were delivered, he said.
He hopes some people with four-wheel-drive vehicles will volunteer in case there is a White Christmas this year.
“We’ll take transplanted Yankees or anyone who knows how to drive in snow,” he said, laughing.
Don’t have much time? That’s fine. Whether you have a full day, a half-day or even an hour to volunteer, “we can use you,” Norman said.
New to the community and don’t know your way around yet? That’s fine, too. Norman said volunteers who are familiar with the area and do not drive, or do not want to on this particular day, will ride along and give directions to homes where meals are to be taken.
Not a Baptist? Never mind that. Norman said that people of virtually all religions — and even some atheists — have volunteered at past dinners.
Volunteers are encouraged to partake of the meal, which is to include ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and homemade desserts, he said.
Volunteers also can contribute to the event by preparing desserts and bringing them to the church on Christmas Eve. Norman suggested making “desserts that can travel well” in vehicles, such as cookies, cakes and pies.
Anyone interested in volunteering in some capacity can call him at 732-3422 for more information.
Families needing meals to be delivered to them may call 403-9557 and leave a message including name, address and the number of meals needed.
He said the free meal is “open to anybody, no questions asked.”
But it is aimed at helping people who are needy for any reason during the holiday season.
“Need isn’t just in the wallet,” Norman emphasized. “It also can be in the heart.”
That includes people who, for instance, have outlived family members and friends or whose families live elsewhere — people who could be alone at Christmas and do not want to be, he said.
Entertainment will be provided by Cindi Hall, a Christian singer who is from the area but now lives in Atlanta. Other singers and musicians are invited to come and perform for diners at the church, Norman said.
The Grace Network is accepting donations to help fund the dinner. Mail a check to the organization at P.O. Box 3902, Martinsville, Va., 24115-3902. On the subject line, write “community Christmas dinner.”
Norman noted that every donation — no matter how large or small — is welcome and needed. He said at least $4,000 to $5,000 still is needed.
Anyone who wants to donate food for the meal can bring it by The Grace Network’s offices, he said.