Adairsville community comes together for Christmas Eve dinner
by Matt Shinall
Dec 12, 2010 | 2051 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beth and Chad Parker, with their sons Jake, left, and Luke, gather some of the goods they collected from community drop offs for the Adairsville Community dinner and free rummage event for area needy families.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Beth and Chad Parker, with their sons Jake, left, and Luke, gather some of the goods they collected from community drop offs for the Adairsville Community dinner and free rummage event for area needy families. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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A family vision and a group of concerned citizens have come together to give back this holiday season with a Christmas Eve dinner for those in need.

Food provided by T.J.'s Country Buffet will be on hand as well as assorted donated goods for the Christmas Eve event held Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in a vacant office spot next to T.J.'s in Adairsville's Legacy Park Shopping Center off of U.S. Highway 41. Donations can be made at the same location from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday of the week before Christmas.

Gathering donations and volunteers since October, Beth Parker has organized the community Christmas dinner to not only help others but to also give people an outlet to serve.

"This will be our second year doing a community Christmas in Adairsville and we really basically started it to give families an opportunity to give back at Christmas time to the needy," age families to bring their kids and to serve.

"It's actually kind of amazing how it started off being one simple idea and now it's really progressed."

Last year, the event helped 80 families. This year they expect to reach 100 families. The Christmas dinner also will try to meet other immediate needs for those in attendance by hosting a free rummage. Donated items, including clothing, accessories, toys and home decor, will be available at no cost to those in need.

Parker encourages anyone interested in volunteering to serve no matter their ability. A range of needs will be utilized at the Christmas Eve dinner and donations of all kinds will be accepted.

"We've had families that like to bake so their thing last year was they baked cookies and delivered cookies and we had people that just wanted to pray and just asked if they had any needs that they could pray for. Also, we're looking for carolers. Last year we just played Christmas music, but if anybody has the gift of singing and would like to come sing that'd be good too," Parker said.

Co-organizer Andrea Belisario, got involved looking for an avenue of service for her children during the holidays.

"I had wished there was something in our community to openly allow my boys, who are 10 and 12, to serve," Belisario said. "We really desire to do that, I've taken my children on a mission trip and they really have a servant's heart and I feel at Christmas we need to embrace that spirit of giving."

Parker moved to the area last year and before that had helped organize other similar events including one for Macon's homeless population. From what she learned she has found that warm clothing, jackets and toiletries are most needed and wanted. After moving to Adairsville, Parker wanted to help community members during this special time of year.

"I have a personal motto that would be called 'saved to serve' and I just feel like the Lord has blessed us with so much, the least we could do is help others and that's basically our inspiration. Wherever we live we want to be able to help those in need because we've been in need so many times when others have helped us too," Parker said.

Both organizers hope to spread the spirit of giving, the rewards of service and their common faith during a time that is challenging for so many. Belisario urged others to take stock of their own blessings and give back this Christmas to those not as fortunate.

"We are so blessed, we are so fortunate and I try to instill that with my family. You try to do it throughout the year but at Christmas time, people's emotions come out more or they get more depressed or they don't have the family support or what have you. We feel very blessed to have that and we just want to show them Jesus in us and give them a chance to be happy and maybe come to know the Lord," Belisario said. "Whoever wants to join in they're more than welcome to help or donate, we'll have music and food. We are asking for prayer support, so anyway anybody wants to get involved, the opportunity is there."

Donations can be made during the week before Christmas at the aforementioned location or by calling 770-843-3924. For Cartersville area donations call 770-871-0555. Donation pick-ups can be arranged.