BARNEVELD, Wis. (AP) -- Iowa County authorities say a Barneveld man has died in a farm accident.More >>
BARNEVELD, Wis. (AP) -- Iowa County authorities say a Barneveld man has died in a farm accident. More >>
WAUSAU (WAOW) -
On Christmas day, hundreds received a Christmas meal delivery and others who might have spent the day alone gathered to share a meal. It was all thanks to a volunteer effort that started 45 years ago.
Behind the Christmas music, decorated place settings and plates full of holiday food is a massive volunteer effort.
"We have people from all the churches volunteering and coming and that's pretty special," said Barbara Hunger, this year's organizer.
At the Community Christmas dinner in Wausau, volunteers lined up to serve dinner. Organizers say they delivered about 400 holiday meals to homes. "We have a lot of hungry people. And people who wanted a dinner and didn't want to have to do it themselves or they were alone and were happy to see people. So that was nice," said Hunger.
Hundreds more were served at First United Methodist Church.
"It's nice because my parents are both gone and my brothers and sisters live out of state," said Ashley Nigl of Wausau. "If I didn't have this, I would be alone for Christmas."
Volunteers say they do it all for the diners.
"All volunteer work is rewarded by those you're serving, being happy with the results," said John Townshend, a volunteer of 20 years. "They come here for fellowship, they come here for the food, and I think they get both of those."
Volunteers say this meal is as much about giving as it is receiving.
"I guess it's nice for those of us who are doing it to feel good about doing something for someone else. But it's also good for them to see that other people do care about them and and feel good that yes, I'm not all alone in the world," said Hunger.
Organizers say the dinner has come full circle. The woman who started this meal 45 years ago stayed home on Christmas. Volunteers delivered a meal to her like they did to hundreds of others.
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