If you are alone on Christmas Day, you have a place to go – as has been the case for the last quarter of a century.
A community dinner is planned for 1 to 4 p.m. at Sterling's First Church of the Nazarene, 411 13th Ave.
Church members Tom Lewis and the late Bob Galloway started the dinner in 1988. They served 90 meals that year.
The number has increased steadily over the years. In 2012, dozens of volunteers served 436 meals, 98 of which were delivered to people's homes.
"The whole community is invited," Lewis, 65, said. "Some people feel down and depressed during the holidays. Come and be with us. We want you to be a part of us. It's a time to celebrate Jesus' birthday."
The meal is a traditional Christmas dinner, with turkey, stuffing, ham, green beans, dessert and beverages.
Volunteers deliver to shut-ins, but organizers want everyone else to come in.
"We've had a few young people who want meals delivered to their homes, so they can watch football," Lewis said.
But that's not who the home-delivery service is for. "We deliver to people if they aren't able to make it in," he said.
The church isn't trying to get new members with the dinner, he said, although it always welcomes people to its congregation.
Lewis said he plans to stay involved with the dinner.
"It's something I enjoy doing," he said. "It's something the good Lord wants me to do. We should all do something for someone else."
Call the church at 815-625-0864 or Lewis at 815-499-9363 for more information on the dinner.
David Giuliani is a news editor for Sauk Valley Media. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-798-4085, ext. 525. Follow him on twitter: @DGiuliani_SVM.