By Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel
RIPLEY — The 17th Annual Christmas Dinner will be held Sunday, Dec. 25 from 10:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Traders Inn Restaurant at the First Monday Flea Market.
Food preparation took place Saturday, Dec. 24 from 6:30 a.m.- noon.
Said event organizer Wayne Windham this week: “Now is the time to get in the Christmas spirit and a good way to do that is by giving of ourselves to others.
“We invite you to join us in our effort to show the sick, shut-ins, and the less fortunate that we do care.
“You can do that by coming in Saturday the 24th and help prepare the food or come in Sunday the 25th and help serve the food.
“Also, another way to help is to bring some desserts to the Traders Inn Restaurant no later than noon Christmas Eve.
“We always need people to deliver to the shut-ins. If you would like to do that job, be at the Traders Inn by 10 a.m. Sunday, December 25th.
“As always, we need people to find the folks that need the Christmas dinners,” Windham said.
If you or someone you know would like to have Christmas dinner delivered, please call 837-4051, or fax the information to 837-7080. Due to a limited number of volunteers to deliver meals, deliveries will be made only if those requesting the meals are unable to pick them up.
A coupon for the free meals is in this issue of the Southern Sentinel.
The coupons should be filled out and returned or faxed to First Monday Trade Days, 10590 Highway 15 South, Ripley, MS 38663. The phone number is 837-4051, or fax 837-7080.
The coupons can also be dropped off at The Southern Sentinel, 1701 City Ave. North, Ripley, or placed in the drop box at the side of the building after hours.
Windham has said previously: “Our obvious reason for this dinner is to give part of ourselves in this time of giving to the needy, but our real underlying desire behind all of the giving and sacrifice is to do everything that we can to will just one soul to the kingdom of Christ.
“We know without the help of all the many different volunteers, the endeavor could not be put forth.
“The place that we need the most help is canvassing the neighborhoods to be sure that no one, whether rich or poor falls through the cracks and goes through Christmas without a good meal and someone to have Christmas dinner with.
“We are not asking anyone for monetary donations, just a little of your time to canvas your neighborhoods and find the ones who need a good meal and to say, ‘we care for you.’ In most cases the poor will find us, but the person that is not indigent, because of pride, is the hardest to find. Those who live by themselves, in most cases will not cook for themselves. Some are physically unable to cook,” Windham said.
This event is sponsored by the United Methodist Lay Council, First Monday and the Southern Sentinel, and others.