Church group provides holiday cheer for those who need it most
Rita Hill spent Christmas building on a idea she said was inspired by God.
More than 65 folks shared a Yule dinner at St. Gall’s Catholic Church Pastoral Center in Gardnerville, thanks to the inspiration Hill said she received more than four years ago.
“These are people, mostly elderly, who would have no one else to be with because their children can’t come over the hill to see them or they are widowed,” Hill said as the guests headed for the serving line Wednesday afternoon.
The diners were from Gardnerville, Minden, Carson City and even South Lake Tahoe, Hill said. Church administrator the Rev. Bill Nadeau served up turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, vegetables and other traditional fare.
Hill said credit for the meal goes to “Father Bill,” a variety of helpers who donated turkeys and money, and cook Cory Eglash, who began preparing the meal Tuesday night.
“It’s just wonderful,” Hill said. “We’re all like a family here.”
Church volunteer Hill, who lives in Gardnerville, said she heard a voice that told her what to do after a personal experience.
“Four years ago, I met a widow, Noel, who was alone on Thanksgiving, and I invited her to share dinner with my family,” she said.
Hill said she asked herself the next day,”How many others are without family on holidays?”
“I went to Father Bill and told him my idea that came from God,” she said. “I asked him if we could have Christmas dinner for people who are alone.”
Nadeau told Hill it was a great idea.
She said no age limit, financial limits or religious affiliation was set up for the guest list. Volunteers and guests from the parish provide the food.
The first year, about seven guests showed up. But the number has grown each year , Hill said.
She sent out about 65 invitations this year and provided transportation to the dinner for some.
She said the dinner has become a annual tradition at St. Gall’s, and she hopes to keep it that way.