This Is Home: Meal helpers for the holidays

Published: Dec. 27, 2019 at 6:32 PM EST
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From the Salvation Army to area churches, organizations provide special public meals on holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

On Christmas Day, it was the churches who provided those meals.

And it might not have been possible without the help of volunteers.

They not only serve those who attend holiday dinners. Several were involved in organizing them years ago.

The Christmas dinner at Parkersburg's First Presbyterian Church began more than 30 years ago.

And Yvonne White was one of those who helped it begin.

"We ran the dinner for several years and organized it," says White, a church member and deacon. "Now, we have younger people taking care of that, so that's great."

And the younger people White refers to aren't just in their 20's and 30's.

Keilegh Greiner was persuaded by her mother to take part in the church's dinner.

"She wanted me to come because she thought I would like being nice to people. And I thought maybe, by coming to church, I would like it, so I wanted to try it out."

Marietta's First Presbyterian Church dinner began just a few years ago, but Judy Peoples has been involved in nearly all of them.

She has helped prepare and serve it, and even delivered it to people in the Marietta area, including parts of Marietta she had not seen before.

"I enjoy having that time with other people, seeing a lot of people, meeting new people," Peoples says. "That's the fun of it, working with people you have never met before, knowing new folks, and also serving folks that you do know."

These meals are not just for the needy. They're held every year for anyone who would like a meal-and companionship-for the holidays.

It's a tradition likely to continue for years to come.