Warm clothes and a hot meal will be offered to many of Utah County's homeless Dec. 24, as the Utah County Food and Shelter Coalition once again offers a special Christmas Eve dinner.
A ham dinner with all the trimmings will begin at 2 p.m. Dec. 24 at the Provo Community Church, on the corner of University Avenue and First North.According to Ruthanne Skinner, director of the shelter, more than 100 people are expected to share in the Christmas feast.
Those individuals or families who are in need of clothing will be invited to go to the shelter, adjacent to the church, and select one outfit for themselves and family members off the racks of donated clothing.
According to Bill Hulterstrom, Director of the United Way of Utah County, donations of items and man-hours has been excellent this year.
"In Utah County there are numerous individuals that reach out at Christmas time to help," Hulterstrom said. "I have never seen such an outpouring and offering on behalf of so many of those in need. We appreciate the kindness of the community."
Ten year-old Tenley Schofield is one of many people who have donated to the Food and Shelter Coalition this season.
According to Tenley's mother, her daughter saved up her birthday money and allowance money. When the money was counted, she had $50, which she gave to the shelter.
Many retailers have opened the doors to the needy this holiday season. One local retailer gave hand- knitted mittens, scarfs and hats to the shelter, while grocery stores and bakeries are helping with the Saturday meal.
Other families and individuals played Santa to more than 450 families through the United Way's Sub-for-Santa Program.
Although Christmas is a special giving time of year, members of various community organizations remind citizens that clothing and food are needed throughout the year.
According to Hulterstrom, with all the wonderful volunteers, agencies, churches and families, there shouldn't be anyone without a roof over their head this Christmas.
Readers who may know of someone with a special need may contact the Food and Shelter Coalition, 55 W. First North, or call the United Way Volunteer office at 378-8108.