PICTOU – A local couple made the holidays a social event for those who otherwise would have spent Christmas alone.
Cathy and Fraser Kennedy were going to be alone this Christmas, and decided to host a free community Christmas dinner for anyone who wanted to come and spend the day with others.
“My husband and I were just going to be alone this year and we realized there’s probably a lot of lonely people out there,” Cathy Kennedy said. “So we thought we would invite some folks and it just kind of grew from there.”
Before the event even started, the parking lot at the New Horizons Club in Pictou was filled with the cars of volunteers who wanted to lend a helping hand to the Kennedy’s dinner. The club was bustling with activity as volunteers worked to prepare the meal for the community. Organizing the volunteers was Kennedy, with her apron on and a smile on her face.
Kennedy said the number of people who wanted to help out with the dinner by donating food, cooking or serving the dinners was great.
“The response was fantastic, overwhelming,” she said. “People have been dropping off food and just wanting to help in anyway, which is really good.”
Kennedy added that many of the volunteers would have otherwise spent Christmas alone as well, and the dinner provided them with an activity that gave them company on the holiday and a way to give back to the community.
She was also grateful that the New Horizons Club wanted to help her and her husband in their efforts to provide a meal and social activity for those who spend the holidays alone.
“We knew we couldn’t have it in our home because there were too many people so we thought we would call and ask if we could rent this place,” she said. “When they found out what it was for, they said that this would be their contribution.”
Volunteers spent the day cooking, serving and delivering meals to those who wanted to attend the dinner but were unable to leave their homes.
Kennedy said about 60 people signed up for the dinner that ran from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Christmas.
The dinner offered a traditional turkey dinner with pie for dessert.
This was the first year the Kennedys hosted this dinner and Cathy said she plans on making this an annual event, “If there’s a need,” she said.