LIMA — For 16 years, there’s been a place to go to have dinner on Christmas in Lima.
Kyle Catlett and Kenny Miller founded the event, providing people with a hot meal and lots of camaraderie.
For the second year, the event was held at the Lima VFW at Elm and Main streets.
“It’s more centrally located and plenty of space. They were more than welcome to have us here,” said Catlett.
The homeless from the Lima Rescue Mission stop by along with people who for whatever reason have nowhere else to go on Christmas.
For Barb Bushong, it was her first Christmas meal at the Lima VFW.
“I’m a widow and my children had Christmas earlier in the week so I was by myself today, so I decided to come,” she said.
Miller was surprised how this dinner has grown throughout the years.
“It’s building bigger and bigger thanks to the volunteers and people that donated and stuff like that it’s been amazing,” he said.
More than 500 meals were expected to be served.
“If it weren’t for the volunteers, we couldn’t get all of this done. The biggest contributors are the members of this community and of my volunteers through their generosity,” said Catlett.
Debbie Calvelage has been volunteering at the dinner for the past 11 years.
“When my son was a freshman in St. Johns, he wanted to do service. We wanted to do something on Christmas Day so we started when he was a freshman and we’ve been doing it ever since. It’s great. You want to help everybody,” she said.
And it fulfills a need.
“There’s nothing open today and we’re basically the only ones that do it around here, we just like to help out people, that’s all we do,” said Miller.
So how does this make Miller feel?
“It makes me feel good. People have to help out people. They don’t do that much anymore,” said Miller.
Catlett sees this as something of a higher calling.
“I think that’s what God wants us to do. He didn’t say to feed them all but feed what you can. What we don’t have, we tap into our resources in the community to help us keep it going on and because it’s the right thing to do, we continue to do it. I just enjoy the chance to spread the love and the spirit of Christmas to people in our community,” Catlett said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.