NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) - For the second year in row, Community Christmas affords people who live in or around Union County and are less fortunate to be able to experience some holiday joy.
The Community Christmas Meal in New Albany is just that, a meal where people who are facing tough times can enjoy.
"Honestly we did this just for people who need a meal," said coordinator Mary King. "Maybe people that just don't have family would like to come out, [and] they can come in and dine in here, have a meal and sit down to eat."
To feed around a thousand people takes teams of volunteers to pitch in, doing a number of important tasks.
"We just want to help wherever, whenever we can," said volunteer Sandra Ash. "It just takes special people to come together. Nobody's in charge. We just all come together and do what needs to be done."
A team of organizers starts working on the Community Christmas meal in the month of October and they say what makes this event a success is that it's all 100 percent volunteer-based.
There is no one person or one organization in charge.
"I just think that because nobody is trying to get the credit, it really pulls everybody together," said volunteer Stephanie Gregg. "Everybody comes together and donates what they can and as a result, it just all comes together and everything just works out."
"We have a lot of very fortunate people but then we have a lot of less fortunate people," said volunteer Marley Wilbanks. "So everybody wants to come together and show that we care about the people that aren't doing as well as others, or that have fallen on hard times because of the economy or something."
For some, it's a chance to enjoy a hot cooked meal in a warm setting and just take in a friendly atmosphere as volunteers go out of their way to make sure no one eats alone.
"Well it is a great opportunity to meet people in the community and make connections," said coordinator Savvanah Minnick. "We get to see what we have here in a lot of the needs that need to be meant."
For those who were unable to travel in to enjoy a hot cooked meal at the school, volunteers delivered meals as well.
The reason why they hold the Community Christmas Meal at New Albany Middle School is because of its central location.