Vol­un­teers to whip up hol­i­day feast for oth­ers on Christ­mas

The Advance of Bucks County - - WORD ON THE STREET - By Jeff Werner

NEW­TOWN BOoOUdH - Christ­mas aay will be a lit­tle more joy­ful this year for be­tween N25 and N50 peo­ple who will sit down to a ban­quet at the New­town Pres­by­te­rian Church.

The meal will be pre­pared by a reg­i­ment of vol­un­teers who are giv­ing up part of their hol­i­day to make the day mem­o­rable for oth­ers.

New­town Bor­ough res­i­dent Paul Sal­va­tore, who has run the event for 2T years, said this year, through a part­ner­ship with Aid­ing Our Neigh­bors, they will be send­ing a bus bri­gade down to the ooute N and ooute N3 cor­ri­dors to trans­port be­tween 60 and T0 mem­bers of Bucks County’s “work­ing poor” to the din­ner.

“Th­ese are peo­ple who have a job and make money but they don’t qual­ify for a lot of the free stuff that ev­ery­one else gets,” said Sal­va­tore. “They live in mo­tels – it’s what they can af­ford. They can’t af­ford apart­ments or a house,” he said.

One of them is a man who works six to seven days a wHHN cOHDn­inJ fish IRU D fish PDUNHW Rn 5RuWH 1. HH lives in the mo­tel be­hind the mar­ket, cooks his meals in a mi­crowave and has no trans­porta­tion.

“When you see peo­ple, who for what­ever rea­son, are suf­fer­ing eco­nom­i­cally, this is an op­por­tu­nity to help some­body out. That’s what it’s about,” said Sal­va­tore. “dod gave us his son. This is the least I could do on Christ­mas aay – make Christ­mas a lit­tle nicer.”

Sal­va­tore has also in­vited res­i­dents from sev­eral re­tire­ment com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing dlo­ria aei, to join them for din­ner this year.

“It’s like a day off for them and they love it,” said Sal­va­tore.

Also in­vited are re­cip­i­ents of Sal­va­tore’s “An­gel Tree” project, which en­cour­ages the pub­lic to pur­chase gifts for the less for­tu­nate liv­ing in the Coun­cil oock School aistrict. This year the project, run with the co­op­er­a­tion of the Coun­cil oock School aistrict nurses, will make the hol­i­days brighter for N25 needy fam­i­lies.

The din­ner it­self will be noth­ing short of mem­o­rable.

Sal­va­tore has re­cruited New­town’s own chef ex­traor­di­naire, goe dar­vey, to whip up a spe­cial hol­i­day feast of ham, carved beef, pos­si­bly chicken fran­chaise, pota­toes, a veg­etable and an as­sort­ment of desserts.

“If you know goe dar­vey, ev­ery­thing will look spec­tac­u­lar,” said Sal­va­tore.

There will also be arts and crafts for the kids and strolling Christ­mas car­ol­ers. And of course, no Christ­mas din­ner would be com­plete with­out a visit from Santa. Ev­ery­body will get their pic­ture taken with Santa and have it to take home with them, said Sal­va­tore.

“It’s al­ways a great day. It’s al­ways a lot of fun,” said Sal­va­tore.

ain­ner will

be

served from N2 to about 2:30 p.m.

Sal­va­tore learned at a young age the im­por­tance of giv­ing.

One Christ­mas, when he was about T years old, his fa­ther, An­gelo, brought home an NN-year-old or­phan boy from St. goseph’s Home in Philadel­phia to spend the day with the fam­ily.

Sal­va­tore, see­ing all the at­ten­tion paid to the boy and how many gifts he was re­ceiv­ing, com­plained to his fa­ther, won­der­ing why this stranger was get­ting more gifts then he was.

“I thought, ‘This isn’t fair. He’s get­ting more gifts than we are and we live here,’” said Sal­va­tore.

“That’s when my dad gave me the great­est Christ­mas gift of all,” he said. “He said to me, ‘ When I take him back, you’re coming with me.’”

His fa­ther took young Paul to St. goseph’s and showed him the lonely cot where the boy sleeps and a sin­gle foot locker at the foot of his bed.

“My fa­ther told me, ‘Ev­ery­thing that boy owns is in that locker.’”

It was a les­son not lost on the young Paul, who has car­ried that im­age with him through­out his life.

“He taught me the best les­son and gave me the great­est Christ­mas present that year,” said Sal­va­tore. “I re­al­ized that what­ever I got it was great be­cause I had it good. It wasn’t about the gifts in the box. It was about my fam­ily and about what we had.”

Nearly three decades ago, when he owned the 2nd Street Pub in Wright­stown, Sal­va­tore, remembering that les­son, in­vited chil­dren from Bethana to join him for a spe­cial Christ­mas din­ner. He’s been or­ga­niz­ing the event ever since.

And Sal­va­tore en­cour­agHs RWhHUs WR finG WhHiU Rwn way of giv­ing back, not just at Christ­mas but through­out the year.

“If you have the op­por­tu­nity, go to a food bank, make a do­na­tion, give back,” he said. “Peo­ple are in need. Peo­ple are really hurt­ing. And they can use it. This is your op­por­tu­nity. And that’s all year round,” he said.

“And just re­mem­ber. div­ing at Christ­mas is great, but when Christ­mas is over there’s still a need,” he said. “Christ­mas has to be 365 days a year. I be­long to the ootary Club. There are plenty of ser­vice clubs out there do­ing this kind of work through­out the year. goin a ser­vice club and get in­volved. That’s the best thing you can do,” he said.

If you have a few hours to spare on Christ­mas aay, con­tact Paul Sal­va­tore at 26T-3N2-352T. He’s look­ing for vol­un­teers to help with set up, clean up, serv­ing, dishes and car­ol­ing. If you have a tal­ent, he can use your help.

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