Ocean City Today

N.O.E.L. Community to host Christmas dinner, Dec. 25

By Staff Writer, Kara Hallissey | Dec 21, 2017
Elizabeth Hall, left, dishes out food while Cal Hook, Dorothy C. Morse and Pat Hammond lend assistance during the 19th annual Christmas dinner sponsored by the N.O.E.L. Community at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, last year. This year, a Christmas dinner will be served at Holy Savior Catholic Church on 17th Street, Monday, Dec. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(Dec. 22, 2017) A Christmas dinner with ham, macaroni and cheese, green beans, rolls and dessert will be served at Holy Savior Catholic Church on 17th Street, Monday, Dec. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Anyone who is homeless, unemployed, underemployed, shut-in or needs a friend during the holiday is encouraged to attend the 20th annual Christmas dinner, presented by the N.O.E.L. (Nothing Other than Eating and Loving) Community.

“Twenty years is special because the possibility and success of providing a meal on Christmas all these years is based on the generosity and commitment of businesses and volunteers from the community who provide donations of money and food as well as volunteers who donate time to plan, coordinate and serve this meal,” said Monica Martin, volunteer chairperson of the N.O.E.L. planning committee.

Tables will be set up in the decorated church for guests to enjoy their meals. There will be live entertainment, a visit from Santa Claus and gifts for children. Attendees will also have the option to select from an assortment of sweet treats on the dessert table.

“We will have carryout meals available as well and continue the tradition of providing meals to first responders in Ocean City as well as town employees and others working on Christmas Day who would enjoy a hot meal,” Martin said.

Last year, the N.O.E.L. Community provided more than 200 hot breakfast meals to guests on Christmas Eve in addition to bags of food to prepare a Christmas dinner. They also delivered 53 hot meals to first responders and employees working for the Town of Ocean City on Christmas Day, she said.

“Over the past few years, providing this meal on Christmas has had challenges as a result of the fire at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea in 2013 and the loss of Father David Dingwall,” Martin said. “We have gone from providing take-home meals to prepare at City Hall, to providing a hot breakfast with a meal to take home at St. Paul’s and back to providing a hot dinner meal on Christmas this year.”

Because of construction at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea in downtown Ocean City, Holy Savior Church staff offered to host the Christmas dinner this year.

“Worcester County is filled with many generous people who support many charitable organizations,” Martin said. “Donations received through our annual drive prior to Christmas supports many programs including the N.O.E.L. dinner, Shepherd’s Crook, and other local food pantries. Funds are also used to help support foster children in Worcester County, adults who receive services through the Department of Social Services, Surfer’s Healing and the Cricket Center.”

Volunteers provide approximately 50 lunches every Saturday to Shepherd’s Crook year-round and they actively work with the local food pantries, shelters and social service groups to identify what is most needed in the area.

Thousands of canned goods, dry goods, fruits, desserts, toiletries, clothing, paper products, cleaning supplies, baby products and other items are donated to families and individuals in need.

The N.O.E.L. Community is asking for monetary and food donations. Checks can be mailed to: 302 North Baltimore Avenue, Ocean City, Maryland, 21842. Donations of non-perishable food and toiletries from individuals and organizations will be accepted on Saturday, Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Holy Savior Catholic Church on 17th Street and Coastal Highway.

In addition, these items can be dropped off at the Shepherd’s Crook food pantry located on Baltimore Avenue and Third Street in Ocean City, which is open every day except Sundays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

N.O.E.L. organizes events throughout the year and its gLOVEs drive will take place in February. New gloves, hats, socks and blankets will be collected for those in need on Feb. 11 at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea on Third Street and Church of the Holy Spirit on 100th Street.

For more information about the N.O.E.L. Community or the Christmas dinner, call 410-289-3453.

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