VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) – For over 30 years, a long-standing holiday Vernon tradition has assured that the Christmas spirit and gift of giving doesn’t miss anyone.

“We deliver, we dine in, and we also carry out meals. It takes the whole community to get it done. They show up to deliver with their boxes and ice chests and then they come back and do it again and then they walk plates while they wait for their ice chests to move up in the line,” Coordinator for Holiday Spirit Meals Sharon Goins said.

Every Christmas the Holiday Spirit Meal serves about 800 hundred mouths with almost every item donated. Goins said all of this wouldn’t be possible without the community.

“We don’t do a fundraiser, private donations and donations from the United Yes Way for the brand, Tyson food for ham, we do buy our turkeys but we get a really good price on them from United. The community takes private donations or else it wouldn’t be possible,” Goins said.

A tradition that’s been taking care of Vernon residents all because of three young ladies.

“Our friend Glenna Bryant, started this, 30 something years ago, and she and I graduated from high school together and so I came to help her and my sister came and helped us,” Jerry Lou Schmoker said.

“I just sort of decided that it was something that I wanted to, to come up and work for the public. We have so many people that donate to this every year and so many workers and the workers here. We’ve been here forever seem like, and so we are old-time friends when we walk in here,” Original volunteer, Grace McLaughlin said.

Besides the warm meals, children coming with their families also had one last chance to tell Santa what they wanted this morning. Goins said the most important thing is bringing everyone together and sharing the holiday spirit. Something that they haven’t been able to do in the last two years due to COVID-19.

“We’ve just missed the community part of it all, and we’re so grateful to get back to that, to see people, to hug them, to tell them, ‘I’ve missed seeing you, you know, it’s important community,” Goins said.

Spreading joy to everyone that walks through their door every holiday season.