BANDON — Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy a free meal on Christmas Day.

Bandon Holiday Meals volunteers will be serving the 2017 community Christmas Holiday Meal from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 25, at The Barn/Community Center located at 1200 11th St. SW in Bandon City Park.

Holiday Meals started more than 20 years ago as a way for the community to enjoy the holiday with one another. Community volunteers and businesses donate food items and/or time to serve community members. The meal consists of turkey and ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, yams, green beans, coleslaw, cranberry sauce, bread rolls, assorted desserts and beverages (coffee, juice, water). More than 500 meals were served at Thanksgiving and dozens of volunteers were there to help, from set-up to cooking, serving and clean-up.

"On Thanksgiving and Christmas we prepare a meal for our community," said volunteer Eric Wiesel. "It’s a true work of love. Dedicated volunteers tirelessly prepare and serve over 500 people - a beautiful rainbow that at least for one day is unified in spirit and affection for each other. That’s what fills my heart - to see such a diverse group of people just being simply together and sharing a meal. Talking and helping. Carrying food for each other and holding out chairs. Laughing and smiling - new and old friendships. No division, name calling or rhetoric. Just people - all the same no matter who or what. It makes me feel human."

The meal is free, but donations will gladly be accepted at the door. Anyone in the Bandon area who is home bound and unable to attend the community meal can pre-order and Holiday Meals organizers will have it delivered.

If you are home bound, call Colleen Wiesel at 916-221-0318 to order a Christmas meal for delivery. To donate desserts, call Linda Frick at 541-347-8347. To volunteer, call Ginny Hall at 541-404-4702.

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