Salvation Army hosts annual Christmas dinner - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Salvation Army hosts annual Christmas dinner

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The Salvation Army saw fewer donations this year, but that didn't stop the group from hosting their annual Christmas dinner.

Doors opened at 11 a.m. and closed at 1 p.m. with more than 200 served this year by nearly 30 volunteers.

Despite fewer donations, organizers were excited with this year's turnout, and they said more people had meals this year compared to last year.

Volunteer Grace Walters started helping seven years ago with her grandmother, and she said this will be her last Christmas in Iowa since she recently graduated culinary school.

"It's really special to me. I know all the volunteers by name. I know a lot of the people who come in and receive the meals by name. It's good to just see them and have a final hoorah to just come down here and enjoy it," Grace said.

The meal started with a prayer, then a meal, wrapped up with dessert, and everyone was given a blanket.

Michael McLeMore said he doesn't know what he would do without the Salvation Army.

"It's a blessing. There's a lot of homeless people here, and thank God that they're here," Michael said.

While most people have homes, families, and presents to help celebrate Christmas, Michael said this dinner is how he celebrates.

"Throughout the year, I've come to Salvation Army a lot. I've met a lot of people here. I get a chance to talk to a lot of people, and there's a lot of hurt out there. If people didn't have the Salvation Army we would be lost. So, without them, a lot of people wouldn't have Christmas," Michael said.

Organizers say they're nearly $75,000 below this year's fund-raising goal.

If you'd like to help, you can click here.  

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