Caring carolers spread joy at annual Christmas dinner - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Caring carolers spread joy at annual Christmas dinner

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- While many families gather together for the holiday season, some people are finding themselves alone, and often in need of a good Christmas meal. The Salvation Army held its annual Christmas Day dinner Saturday afternoon. It required dozens of volunteers -- some to serve food, others to spread joy.

Jim and Barb Reidy were among the volunteers. They have a large family -- to say the least -- and they always get together on Christmas morning.

"Six children, 18 grandchildren. So this morning gathered in our living room, there were actually 33 people," said Barb Reidy.

When their early celebration wraps up, the crew continues on for an afternoon of caroling.

"Most of them have someplace to go, in-laws...those of us who don't have another place to go decided a few years ago that this is what we would do," Reidy said.

Three generations of Reidy's are volunteering at the annual Christmas dinner. But they don't cook or serve the food.

"We sing! They seem to have enough volunteers for everything else," Barb explained.

Their songs are traditional -- some of them fun, others heartwarming. The goal is to provide a little entertainment for families who had no where else to go this year.

"Christmas time, to me, is a more lonely season. And Jesus is the reason for the season, and that's why we do it, to show our love like he showed his love for us," said organizer Pat Jones.

The Reidy family is hoping their voices will bring some of that love, and maybe a little hope, to those looking toward a better new year.

"Give unto others -- we have so much ourselves, we've been very fortunate. And we thought, if we could do something nice for other people, that this would be a nice thing to do," said Reidy.

All the left-overs from Saturday afternoon's lunch will go to good use. The Salvation Army is opening next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for lunch, even though the rest of the offices are closed for the holiday break.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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