On Christmas day, many citizens of the community gave up precious family time in order to help others. Trumann hosted its 15th annual Christmas dinner on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, with about 50 volunteers. The lunch was served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the TRC building at the Trumann Sports Complex.
The community dinner began with a local church doing everything. Other churches became involved, and eventually it became a town project. Lindsay Miller, organizer of the event, said that seven different churches and their members were involved in the dinner including First General Baptist, Maple Grove Baptist, McCormick Baptist, Parkview Baptist, First Baptist, Full Gospel Tabernacle and First Assembly of God. Many donations were made by Walmart, with Steve Horn at Couches BBQ in Trumann doing all of the cooking.
"Lucky for me most of my family is up here with me, but a lot of people sacrifice this time to help others," said Miller. She was really touched by the turn out of volunteers from outside of Trumann including some from Dexter, Missouri. She said that just about every year consists of the same people with a few new volunteers annually. "It is my favorite part of Christmas. It blesses me to help others, especially during the holiday," said Miller.
Courtney Toddy, age 17, said it is also her favorite part of Christmas. She has been volunteering at the event for five years consecutively. "It's really spiritually rewarding to give during Christmas," said Toddy. "It's what Christmas is all about." Toddy usually helps to deliver the traditional Christmas meal to those in need in the comfort of their home. She said that this is the best part of the event because she gets to personally witness the smile on people's faces. Miller agreed that it was very touching to deliver because the need of the people is seen firsthand.
Toddy and Miller really impressed with the volunteers' efforts they put forth in their time that would usually be spent with family. "They all do it out of the goodness of their hearts, and they are all participating to help people," said Toddy. "They really want to help people."
The volunteers serviced about 900 people, which is 100 more than last year's turn out. Miller said that everyone was very thankful and grateful, which blessed her. She and the volunteers hope to service and bless more of the community in the coming years.