Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

December 21, 2012

Come one, come all for Christmas dinner at Drake Avenue Christian Church

By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Drake Avenue Christian Church in Centerville will host its 22nd annual Christmas dinner starting at 12 p.m. Christmas day.

The Rev. Sara Galindo said the mid-day meal will consist of turkey, ham, green beans, potatoes, gravy, dressing, salads, pie and roll and is offered free of charge to anyone who wants to come to Fellowship Hall to eat the meal, have it delivered or picked up at the church, located at 303 Drake Ave.

Call (641) 856-8061 to arrange for delivery or pickup.

A free-will offering will be accepted, Galindo said.

The meal is offered to anyone from anywhere who wants one.

"We're not going to check ID's at the door," Galindo said. "Absolutely not. You need a place to eat, we'd love to have you be here."

Galindo said last year they served 300 meals in Fellowship Hall and had 200 take out and delivery meals.

"So, that's a lot of turkey and ham," Galindo said. "And we couldn't do it without a lot of help from the community. It's an amazing team effort, not just by the church but by the whole community. And for it to be such a community project. We have folks all over the community that donate, that volunteer."

Volunteers are something Galindo said they could use more of to cook, serve, clean and deliver the Christmas day meal.

"Give us a call. We'll find you a job," Galindo said. "I'd love to have some more volunteers. More hands are a lot more fun. We're just very grateful for all the volunteers we have and we'd love to have more."

At home deliveries are done in the morning and meals are served beginning at 12 p.m. The mid-day meal continues to be served until people stop showing up or they run out of food.

"We haven't run out yet," Galindo said, adding serving usually continues until 2:30 or 3 p.m.

"It's open to the public. If you want to come out and have lunch with people ... come eat," Galindo said.

Galindo mentioned Jan Spurgeon as a driving force behind the Christmas day meal event.

"And of course she's a wonderful organizer," Galindo said. "We couldn't do it without her. But there are so many folks."

The food for the Christmas day meal is either donated and prepared the day before or supplied by the many volunteers who show up to cook, serve and clean.

Galindo is in her second year at Drake Avenue Christian Church. She started Dec. 1, 2011.

"So this really excited me when I got here just to see what they were doing," Galindo said. "This is the 22nd year that they've served Christmas dinner for anyone who wants to come.

"We want to really make sure that everyone who needs a meal gets one. That's a biggie for me," she said.

Galindo talked about a woman going through chemotherapy who said she wasn't physically capable of cooking such a big meal for her family so they came to the Christmas dinner at Drake Avenue Christmas Church.

"'So, I can bring my family and we can have Christmas dinner together,'" Galindo said. "This is wonderful. We just want to see everyone get a meal if they need it."

Galindo said some families now have made the Drake Avenue Christmas Church Christmas dinner a tradition.