It is one evening of time and some planning, but for those less fortunate in the community a free community Christmas dinner means so much.
On Wednesday night Victory Church opens their doors to reach out to those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to experience the spirit of Christmas.
“Giving back is the bonus,” said Pastor Trevor Hoffman. “We like to do whatever we can because we love this city. It really isn’t much to us because it is just one dinner, just one evening of volunteer work and some planning. For those that come for the dinner it can mean so much. It is a really good time and nice to sit down to dinner.”
Prior to the inaugural community Christmas dinner, Victory Church hosted a Christmas banquet with a speaker and charged people money to attend.
“Last year we thought to heck with that, let’s just buy a bunch of turkeys and feed everyone that comes,” said Hoffman.
This year ham and all the trimmings of a Christmas dinner are being offered on the menu for free to whoever wants to come.
“We are downtown where a lot of people are and right near the Soup Kitchen, who do all the lunches and that is huge, so we thought we would do a dinner,” said Hoffman.
Catering staff from Charles Manor, a retirement centre in close proximity to the church, is volunteering their time and commercial kitchen to prepare all the meat.
Besides the dinner, there will be prize draws from Penticton businesses that have donated to the cause including Wal-Mart, Superstore and Little Caesars. Members of the church have also been preparing goodie bags with homemade baked goods to be handed out to those in attendance. Donated clothing the church has been collecting will be available for those who need it to take with them.
Hoffman said he expects to feed even more people than they did last year and hopes to continue with a weekly dinner for those less fortunate.
“We have already been planning to do a weekly dinner and a movie thing for anyone that would like to come. It probably won’t be as lavish as this, but it will be fun,” he said.
Victory Church is holding the free Christmas community dinner on Wednesday at their location at 352 Winnipeg St. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.