Two communities are planning Christmas day dinners for those looking to share the holiday with others, organizers said. There is no charge for either.
In Oneonta, the Friends of Christmas Dinner will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 66 Chestnut Street.
Friends of Christmas, funded by St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the local community, is joining up with people from Saturday’s Bread to offer the holiday meal.
Coordinator Ann Steen said based upon what was seen at a similar dinner on Thanksgiving, about 400-500 meals are being planned for — including takeouts and home deliveries. This is 50-100 more than last year.
Food and monetary donations are coming in nicely but there is a need for more volunteers, she said. She said she was hopeful when people learned of this, they would step up as they usually do.
“It’s just amazing what we receive from the community,” she said.
Volunteer coordinator Carol Forman said she was hopeful more people would offer their time as the event approaches. There are a variety of jobs Tuesday, when preparations start, and Christmas day, she said.
Forman said she’s been involved with the event for 20 years because it gives people a place to come for the holiday and it brings the community together.
“We’ve had so many wonderful things happen (at the meal),” she said. “It just brightens my year to see so many people give of themselves.”
Call Forman at 432-3084 to volunteer time or baked good goods; or Nancy Fodero at 435-7188 for transportation to the church or of to have a meal delivered.
The First United Methodist Church of Walton is also sponsoring its Free Community Christmas Baked Ham Dinner. Doors open at 12:15 p.m. and dinner is served at 1 p.m at the Walton Fire Station at 61 West Street.
People should call by Monday for reservations to help with planning, but all are welcome, coordinator Helen Caffery said. The generosity of area business and individuals help make it possible, she said. She said she wasn’t sure how many to expect this year, but 350 meals were served last year, including 200 takeouts.
Caffery said she started the dinner to make sure people aren’t alone, but “everyone is welcome.”
For more information, call Caffery at 865-4304.