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The Christmas season is about giving, and most people spend Christmas day exchanging gifts, laughs, and love with family and friends. But Christmas can also be a lonely time for people who have no friends, no loved ones, and nowhere to go. But in Springfield, people will have a place to go to be around hundreds of friendly faces and enjoy a good meal. KSMU's Greg Leuthen reports on the Christmas Dinner for Those Alone.
Many people find that they get more out of giving on Christmas Day than receiving. Mike and Kathy Boyer agree, but they don't spend Christmas Day giving tangible gifts; they give time.
At 7 o'clock in the morning on Christmas Day, while many people are getting ready to gather around a Christmas tree and open presents, Kathy Boyer says she and her husband join several other volunteers in the kitchen at First and Calvary Church to prepare a meal for anyone who doesn't want to spend Christmas Day alone.
The First and Calvary Presbyterian Church in Springfield has been offering a meal on Christmas Day since 1969, and that tradition will continue this year. Kathy Boyer says that last Christmas they served turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, bread rolls, and a wide variety of pies and other desserts to over 700 people. That was the largest crowd that First and Calvary had ever had, but they still had plenty of leftovers after the guests had left. Kathy Boyer says that there were several volunteers that had spent twelve hours cooking, serving, and cleaning on Christmas Day to make sure that everyone got a meal and some warm company, and they got more out of the experience than the people they served.
Anyone who does not have a place to go for Christmas is welcome to come enjoy this Christmas dinner for free at First and Calvary Church. The church is located at the corner of Cherry and John Q. Hammons Parkway, and the dinner starts at 11:30am. If you would like to attend, the church asks that you make a reservation by calling 417-885-9620. They will not ask you for your name; just the number of people who will be coming so they can get an estimate of how much food will be needed. If you would like to volunteer or donate food, you are asked to call 417-862-5068. And again, the number to call and make a reservation to eat is 417-885-9620.