Din­ner vol­un­teer marks 18th year

Waihi Leader - - News -

“We’ve prob­a­bly maxed out at 220 and it got to big for the church hall so we shifted to the Memo­rial Hall.”

Ev­ery­one was wel­come at the din­ner and they wanted to give fam­i­lies or peo­ple who will be on their own some­thing to do on Christ­mas Day, as well as some­one to share it with.

“We want to cre­ate a fam­ily at­mos­phere for any­one who may be un­able to cre­ate one on their own.”

“It’s called the open door be­cause who­ever walks in the door on the day gets fed. It is all about fam­ily, gath­er­ing and to­geth­er­ness.”

“We don’t want peo­ple to be stuck on their own, spend­ing all day sit­ting in their Lazy­boy chair.”

Mar­garet worked along­side a core team of about five vol­un­teers but that num­ber in­creased in the lead-up and on the day.

“Vol­un­teers come out of the wood­work and for the last month I have had peo­ple ring­ing me up.”

She says it was re­ward­ing work.

“It’s re­ward­ing for any­one that is in­volved. You work hard — we aim to feed the vol­un­teers as well but you may have dif­fi­culty find­ing time to eat your meal de­pend­ing on what job you have.”

The at­mos­phere was also wel­com­ing.

“If you think back to the best fam­ily Christ­mas din­ners you ever had and this is bet­ter. I think it’s be­cause a lot of the pres­sures or ex­pec­ta­tions peo­ple have on them are lifted. So there is no ten­sion among peo­ple and it is a very re­laxed at­mos­phere.”

PHOTO/FILE

The Open Door Christ­mas Din­ner in Waihi is in its 18th year and still go­ing strong.

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