Salvation Army prepares for annual Christmas dinner

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“Nobody knows what goes on in this building”

By Janice Dickson 

TRURO - Christmas dinner will be held at The Salvation Army Church for anyone who may be alone or without a turkey on Christmas.  

Arlene Stevens is preparing for Christmas dinner. She organized the first Christmas dinner at the Salvation Army 10 years ago and is days away from the yearly event. 

Arlene Stevens and her husband started hosting Christmas dinners at The Salvation Army 10 years ago and now, with the help of about 50 volunteers, they serve more than 100 people Christmas dinner ever year.

The Christmas meal is only one of the projects Stevens helps with during the holidays. She is busy organizing gifts that will be donated to the Christmas Index program—which is aimed at giving presents and food to those in need. 

“Nobody knows what goes on in this building,” said Stevens as she looked on to hundreds of toys in the multi-purpose room in The Salvation Army.

As soon as the preparation for the Christmas Index program is over, Stevens and volunteers will prepare for Christmas dinner. 

“Some [people] we see year after year, there are some older people, some single people who don’t cook a turkey at home, or they’re alone and some older people find that they don’t have any family handy so they come and it’s completely free,” said Stevens.

Stevens said donations are welcome, and that is how the event is able to take place. She said the Nova Scotia Highlanders provide funding, turkeys, sometimes pies and condiments. 

“Other people will come along with a bag of potatoes or carrots. Some guy donated a squash big enough to feed 100 people,” said Stevens.

Volunteers who help with the event deliver turkey dinners to those who are unable to get to The Salvation Army. Stevens said sometimes volunteers stay and eat dinner with people who are alone.

“We have a group of people who show up and they will deliver turkey dinners right to their table. Sometimes they just sit with them while they’re eating and chat with them so they’re not too lonesome and yes it’s quite an event,” said Stevens.

The dinner will be held on Christmas morning in The Salvation Army Church, located on 14 Outram St. and doors open at 11:15 a.m.  

“We have a fully stocked kitchen because we run a food bank out of our building too so we’re well equipped to make dinners,” said Stevens.

As one of the only original Christmas dinner organizers still involved, Stevens said she couldn’t do it without the help of volunteers.

“It goes pretty smooth come that day, I don’t have to do much of anything but walk around and smile because there’s lots of hands.” 

Additional Information

What: The Salvation Army annual Christmas dinner

Where: The Salvation Army Church, 14 Outram St.

When:  Dec. 25, 11:15 a.m.

Donations are welcome

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  • Melisa Brown
    December 20, 2013 - 11:23

    It's so nice to see and feel the spirit of Christmas. Special thanks to all those who take their time to help. The Salvation Army is such a beautiful organization!