Support our Christmas Day Dinner!
The Christmas Day Dinner at Communitas is a decades-old tradition. The day is organized by Justina Penner, the organization’s chief human resources officer, and Annette Borrows, a former Communitas employee. Dozens of volunteers, like those serving in the photo above, prepare a full ham dinner, set the tables with linens, real dishes and cutlery, and entertain their guests with games, stories and songs. Every effort is made to help guests really feel they’ve come to have dinner at their family home.
“For some of the people we serve, Christmas is a hard time and this dinner is the only family experience they will have,” Justina says.
It is for this reason that this dinner is served right on Christmas Day. About 40 people attend each year. For many of the volunteers who attend, this dinner has become a holiday tradition as well and they cannot imagine their Christmas any other way. For those who come as guests, this dinner is truly special.
Michael Linburg has been attending the Christmas Day Dinner for 12 years. He enjoys the food and gifts but it’s the company he enjoys the most.
“I don’t have any family to celebrate Christmas Day with, so coming to this dinner means I’m not alone on Christmas Day,” he says.
The Christmas Day Dinner at Communitas always makes me happy. – Michael Linburg, dinner participant
Sue Browning, manager of the Starbucks at Sevenoaks, and some of her staff have participated in the dinner for the last couple of years. She says that each Starbucks coffee shop strives to be active in their community and they take the call to be good neighbours very seriously.
“The Christmas dinner at Communitas is very special to all of us and we are honoured to be invited to attend,” she says.
Games are a big part of the evening and everyone who plays a game is guaranteed a prize. Each person who comes to the dinner also goes home with a gift. A generous gift from James and Vanessa Epp, of Fraserway RV, helps to cover the cost of Christmas dinner. The game prizes and gifts are all donated by individuals, many of them Communitas staff.
Those wishing to support the Christmas Day Dinner at Communitas may click on the link below. Simply designate your gift for “Christmas Day Dinner”. Thank you!