Merced County Times Newspaper
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Times Photos by Jonathan Whitaker

‘Spirit of Christmas’ luncheon continues for 29th year

 

It’s been nearly decades since the Spirit of Christmas Luncheon began for local families, senior citizens, homeless individuals and others who have heard about it and just show up.

The event is held every year at the Boys & Girls Club on the Saturday before Christmas Eve.

“When we first started, there were five of us, but as the years have passed, we have many other volunteers who help out,” said Cecilia Nichols. “All our funds come from donations, and each year we spend every cent we get on the meal and bags of groceries that we give away. Over the years, we have had teenagers who conducted toy drives and so now we also try to give a toy to each child who attends. As you can imagine, it is lots of fun.”

Organizers Joe and Binnie Carroll have helped keep the event going year after year as a way to give back and serve the local community. Joe estimates they served 450 people this year, including 263 children who all got toys. They had some 30 volunteers to support the luncheon.

As an added bonus, families were able to take home a free bag of groceries.

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