Volunteer Highlight: Dave Johnson and the Christmas Day Dinner Project
Community holiday dinners are more than a meal -- they offer a joyous life-changing experience for all involved. They touch the lives of those attending, often providing sustenance as well as encouragement, while simultaneously inspiring the live...
Community holiday dinners are more than a meal - they offer a joyous life-changing experience for all involved. They touch the lives of those attending, often providing sustenance as well as encouragement, while simultaneously inspiring the lives of community partners and those who serve.
Cloquet has been privileged to enjoy a community Christmas Day Dinner for the past 22 years. This year the tradition continues with longtime volunteer chairman David Johnson at the helm, organizing the promotion, funding, and volunteers. He notes this is truly a community event, and expresses appreciation for all the volunteers, businesses, industries, individuals, service organizations and participants who make this dinner a success.
Johnson said the dinner, hosted by Zion Lutheran Church, is free and open to anyone in the community. They provide an outstanding menu, serving approximately 500 people annually. They offer community dining, home-delivered meals, take-out meals, and even provide transportation. In addition, musicians delight the group with beautiful Christmas music and Santa is sure to stop in.
Johnson, who also serves on various boards and committees, said helping with this dinner is a highlight for him. He commented it is his joy to do “because it is giving back to the community and is truly a sharing of the Christmas Spirit.” He noted the dinner is also a reunion of sorts, something many volunteers and attendees look forward to each year. In addition, Johnson mentioned they were reminded of the impact they are making when they found a touching thank you note written on a placemat by one of the participants. It brought nearly everyone to tears.
If you, or someone you know, will be alone on Christmas, are in need of a meal, or need some holiday cheer, please join in the Cloquet area Christmas Day Dinner. It will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 25, at Zion Lutheran Church, 1000 Washington Ave., Cloquet. If you are interested in volunteering, want to order a take-out or home-delivered meal, or are in need of transportation, please call the Zion church office at 281-879-4647 by Dec. 23.