Volunteers to whip up holiday feast for others on Christmas
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.
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.