TLC invites public to Community Christmas Dinner
Published 9:45 am Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Christmas is a time for celebrating with friends and family, and one local service agency is hoping to bring that holiday spirit to the whole community.
On Thursday, the TLC Community Center will host its second annual Community Christmas Dinner, and center director Angie Odom said the night will have a little something for everyone.
Grace Baptist Church will present a puppet show, and the God Rod Team from Beck Mountain Baptist Church will provide entertainment for the event, Odom said, adding there will also be musical performances.
And what Christmas event would be complete without a visit Santa Claus? In addition to Santa’s visit during the dinner, Odom said a special time will be set aside for Santa to visit with children who might otherwise not be able to visit him in a traditional setting.
“If anyone has a child with special needs and wants to get their picture made with Santa, they can call and get information on the time,” Odom said.
Many special needs children can become overwhelmed by the crowds and loud noises of large shopping center, Odom said, and often those children miss out on getting to see Santa and have their picture made with him.
“We have a special room that is just for Santa and the child,” Odom said. “I know first hand why this is needed with my daughter because of the sensory issues she has.”
Santa will hand out gifts to children during their visitation and during dinner.
The Community Christmas Dinner is free, and anyone can attend.
“No reservations are needed,” Odom said. “No one has to call ahead. Just show up.”
The center would like to extend a special invitation to members of the community who are caring for children whose parents are incarcerated during the holidays, Odom said. In years past, the center held a special event for those children to let them know that even though they cannot spend Christmas with their parents, they are not forgotten. This year, the center decided that rather than having two separate events, they would combine all of the activities into one day for the whole community.
This is the second year the TLC Community Center has hosted a Christmas dinner for the community. Last year, 587 meals were served at the event, Odom said, adding she expects that number to be even larger this year.
As part of the community event, Odom said Center volunteers will be delivering hot meals to Thursday to elderly residents who live at Village East, Courtyard and Franklin Place apartments. Those meals will be delivered prior to the start of the community dinner.
The Community Christmas Dinner will be held on 5-8 p.m. Thursday at the TLC Community Center, 145 Judge Don Lewis Blvd., across from the National Guard Armory. The menu will include ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, bread and homemade desserts.
For more information on the dinner or on when Santa will be available for visits with for children with special needs, contact the TLC Community Center at 423-895-8601.