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Parish House in the spirit

Group leaders, volunteers prepare for Christmas dinner

December 10, 2012
By Melissa Toothman Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

The spirit of giving on Christmas is not lost on the Upshur Parish House of Buckhannon and the many volunteers who donate their holiday hours to ensure that people have a hot meal for the holiday.

Dinner will be served, packaged and/or delivered on Christmas Day. No one will be turned down for a meal,.

"Christmas Day, in particular, is a special day. It's a day that holds a lot of memories. It's a day that people shouldn't be alone," Parish House director Alicia Rapking said. "One of the reasons we do this Christmas dinner is to offer people a place to go. They enjoy good food and the joy of the season with other folks in their community."

The community Christmas dinner is free and will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 25 in Engle Hall at the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church on Kanawha Street in Buckhannon. The dinner includes roasted turkey, baked ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, dessert, coffee and iced tea.

Volunteers are still needed and no volunteer will be turned away, Rapking said..

"No volunteer help is ever turned down, because we just have a great time doing this. We enjoy being together," Rapking said. "We depend on those volunteers and are very thankful for them every year."

Each year between 50 and 75 volunteers offer their time to help cook, clean and deliver food, Rapking said. Volunteers are needed Saturday, Dec. 22 to begin food preparation. Volunteers also are needed for the shift of 8-10:30 a.m. Christmas Day to cook and package dinners for delivery, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. to deliver meals in Upshur County, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to cook, serve and wash dishes and from 1-3 p.m. to clean up.

Those who wish to deliver boxed dinners will need a vehicle that can accommodate one or more coolers and need to be willing to drive around Upshur County. To volunteer, call Rapking at 304-472-3152. For those who cannot volunteer, there is another way to give to the cause.

Homemade desserts are needed and can be dropped off in a non-returnable container from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church Saturday or after 8 a.m. Christmas Day. Desserts must be labeled with the contributor's name, phone number and the type of dessert. Sugar-free and gluten-free deserts also are needed.

Some people who partake of the dinner could rely on the hot meal.

"I know that some folks are dependent upon that extra food, which is one of the reasons why we do this," Rapking said. "It's in celebration of the season of giving, and so we are glad to be able to do that. But it's not just that. It's a day to celebrate, and the best way we can do that is to offer a reason for people to come together, and good food is one of those reasons."

Upshur County residents who cannot attend the dinner may request delivery or pick up from Dec. 18-23 by calling and leaving a message at 304-472-3152. Dinners will be delivered by volunteers between 10:30-11:15 a.m. Christmas Day, weather permitting. Harsh weather conditions may prevent deliveries in some areas.

Financial contributions to the Parish House are accepted. Checks can be made payable to Upshur Parish House and mailed to 68 College Ave., Buckhannon, WV 26201. When writing a check, please label "2012 Christmas Dinner" in the memo.



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