Menifee Christmas Dinner a Holiday Success

Menifee Christmas Dinner began as a mission to show children what the spirit of giving at Christmastime is all about, teaching them that th...

Menifee Christmas Dinner began as a mission to show children what the spirit of giving at Christmastime is all about, teaching them that there is more to Christmas than gifts and sugar cookies.

Through community collaboration and the plentiful outreach of residents, the organization grew into much more. The end goal each year is to ensure that every single person in Menifee, and now surrounding areas as well, have access to a hot home cooked meal and an atmosphere of love, care, and compassion on Christmas day.

This year contributions were above and beyond generous. At the backbone of the operation, volunteers collected food over eleven evenings at local Menifee grocery stores and toys for the toy drive over the course of nine days at the Countryside Marketplace.

During the Texas Roadhouse two-night soft opening at the start of December, the restaurant helped raise $750 in donations from customers. In addition the servers and staff donated the entirety of their tips from the two evenings totaling $2,960 to the Menifee Christmas Dinner.

The monetary donations were used to purchase; 165 turkeys for the pre-packaged take home meals, additional toys and gift cards to gift in-need children and teens on Christmas day, and several Christmas trees for underprivileged local families.

While the initial Menifee Christmas Dinner planned a location for their event, this year they also had the idea to add a home delivery for 30 especially struggling families. The number of families in need grew from 30 to 50, but no matter, the week before Christmas volunteers brought prepackaged feasts, presents, and holiday cheer to all 50 families.

Beginning at noon on Christmas day the donations of hot side dishes, entrees, desserts, and utensils started pouring in. Organized via perfectpotluck.com, each volunteer chose a dish to prepare and a designated time slot to deliver it.

Menifee Christmas dinner served 322 hot meals at Marion B Ashley Community Center on Christmas day and gifted each child in attendance with a gift. In addition, 31 meals were hand delivered to the elderly and 101 meals were fed to the homeless on Christmas day. A grand total of 611 meals were served to the community through the kindness of volunteers and donations.

At the end of the event, three boxes of nonperishable food remained and were donated to the Menifee Valley Community Cupboard. 90 toys and games were also unused and will be donated to the Loma Linda Children’s hospital.

With the support of an entire community of volunteers the Menifee Christmas Dinner continues to grow, to reach people, and to teach the true meaning of Christmas. Every city should be so lucky.

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