Free dinner strengthens community

By Anna Carrera

Published 12/25 2013 08:14PM

Updated 12/25 2013 08:17PM

CHAMPAIGN -- For people who didn't have to work, hundreds came together to celebrate the day. The First Christian Church hosted its fourth annual free Christmas dinner. Volunteers started working early Wednesday morning on appetizers and the main course -- plus pumpkin pie for dessert. Some say helping out there has become a family tradition.

"I think it's important to teach our daughters, especially as teenagers," said Jayne DeLuce, who was a volunteer there. "And I think more and more, they're going to see that those opportunities are going to be what pays back in life as they give back when they're adults."

"The food is good, the people are friendly," said Vernell Meyers, who came for the dinner. "We just enjoyed it. And since we couldn't be with our family, we decided we'd come here."

People who came say they loved celebrating the true meaning of Christmas and making their community stronger.

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