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