This year, the Fagan’s took it upon themselves to ensure Christmas was special for everyone this year, even those who have nowhere to go. (Photo - submitted)

The more the merrier; Penticton woman feeds 53 strangers at Christmas

“No one deserves to be alone on Christmas, and no one deserves to be hungry,” said Ashley Fagan.

Many unfamiliar faces crowded into Ashley Fagan’s home Christmas day, grateful to be surrounded by smiles and served a warm meal. Fifty-three individuals were fed that night, thanks to the efforts of their family, as well as several other members of the community.

Although Fagan’s table only seated 14, others gratefully stopped by to pick up a meal and say thank you. The 14 who did get a seat at their table received a home made menu, and then picked what they wanted to eat.

The young mother and her family took it upon themselves to ensure Christmas was special for everyone this year, even those who had nowhere to go.

LOOK BACK: Penticton family opens its doors to community on Christmas Day

The Western News previously reported that the Fagan’s had posted in numerous Facebook groups, inviting anyone to join them for Christmas dinner.

“I had a hard past of my own,” said Fagan in a private Facebook message after Christmas had concluded. “Part of that was living on the streets for seven years. I know the feeling of being alone on Christmas.”

This isn’t the first time Fagan has extended a helping had to those less fortunate. Over the years she has dedicated Christmas time to helping women and their children in rough situations. However, this is the first time she has cooked for so many.

“I like to cook so it’s something easy for me,” she said. “I love to host when friends come over so this was just a bigger step.”

A variety of people attended the dinner. From those without a home, to those who were lonely, and even some who were brand new to town. Some stopped by to simply pick up a meal for those who could not make it to the dinner.

When Fagan announced the upcoming dinner on social media, many reached out to help support the cause; from money to help buy the food, as well as several donated turkeys, desserts and veggies.

Ten Tim Hortons gift cards were also handed out to those in need.

“We want to make a tradition out of it,” said Fagan. “And show our children the power of kindness and sharing.

“No one deserves to be alone on Christmas, and no one deserves to be hungry.”

READ MORE: Investigation launched in reported poaching of black bear cub in the north Okanagan


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