PREPARED: Close to 50 volunteers are getting ready to help at the event, organised by a group of combined Ballina churches.
PREPARED: Close to 50 volunteers are getting ready to help at the event, organised by a group of combined Ballina churches.

True Christmas spirit shared around a table

NOBODY should be alone or miss out during the festivities, so a Christmas Day Lunch will be held for the sixth time at the Ballina Presbyterian Church Hall this year.

Peter Howard, one of the organisers, said the lunch is open to everyone in the community, specially those who are homeless, the young and old, those who may be facing spending Christmas Day alone, or those who would like to meet new people in the community.

"We are expecting around 160 people, but we have prepared for a maximum of 200," he said.

"Most people have already come for the last six years, and some of them have no home, but others come because they don't want to be by themselves at home, and they don't want to be lonely."

Organisers have enlisted around 50 volunteers to help with the launch this year, Mr Howard said.

"Most of them are from Ballina," he said.

"The lunch itself is donated by businesses from Ballina.

"This year we will have ham, chicken and five or six fresh salads, and a couple of sweets. It takes two or three weeks to organise but we get it done.

"We have about 18 local businesses who donated food or vouchers, from food producers to real estate agents and also Ballina Shire Council has donated food vouchers to purchase all the goods we need."

Mr Howard said a smiliar group of people from the Ballina Presbyterian Church organisers a breakfast service at the hall twice a month, and the idea of the Christmas lunch derived from that.

"We were doing the breakfasts and a lady came in from another church and proposed the idea, so we got a number of churches together and it's gopne from there."

On Wednesday, December 25, at the Ballina Prestbiterian Church Hall, behind the church, in the corner of Crane and Cherry Sts from noon to 2pm. Free.


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