Volunteers deliver 2,000 Christmas Eve meals

Volunteers deliver 2,000 Christmas Eve meals

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - At least 2,000 people will have a homemade holiday meal this Christmas thanks to some generous volunteers.

Young and old lined up to bring meals near and far in a combined effort from the Big Buddy Program and Cape Fear Volunteer Center.

Hundreds lined up off Shipyard Blvd. on Monday morning with boxes and baskets, ready to pick up meals.

“Today we are delivering meals to about 2,000 residents, some in the inner city housing areas here in Wilmington," said Chris Lancaster, a volunteer case manager with the Big Buddy Program. “Some of them are elderly and shut in. Some are victims of the hurricane. Some of them are members of our Big Buddy Program and we’re delivering meals to them.”

Meals were made up of ham and turkey, vegetables, and homemade desserts were cooked by the Pine Valley United Methodist Church.

Lancaster said those receiving meals cannot or do not have the means to cook for themselves.

“They are so grateful to receive a Christmas dinner," she said. "Some of them don’t have the means to cook themselves or don’t have transportation to get out and buy food for their families so this is a big help this time of year.”

Volunteers received addresses and picked up meals to deliver.

“The Cape Fear Volunteer Center is the one who puts together the volunteers so we’ve been getting volunteers for a couple of months now," Lancaster said. "A lot of people do this year after year. They’ll be here for about an hour. We’ll give them a few families to deliver to, they’ll pick up the meals and they’ll deliver them. Some here in Wilmington, some as close as the Burgaw- Rocky Point area.”

Some families have made volunteering part of their Christmas Eve traditions, and others came out for the first time this year.

“It is so amazing to be a part of this and a lot of families that come out, a lot of them are in the hustle and bustle of the season themselves and they’re giving their time and energy to come out and help others," Lancaster said. "It’s truly what the spirit of Christmas is all about.”

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