November 30, 2013

Citizens of the Week: Providence Ministries’ holiday volunteers

The Daily Citizen

— For more than 20 years, Providence Ministries has fed the hungry in the Dalton area. And it has helped make sure that even the neediest have the sort of full holiday meals that most of us take for granted.

Staff members work countless hours getting those meals ready, but they couldn’t do it without the help of dozens of volunteers.

Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, people take time out of their own holiday celebrations to give back to the community by helping Providence. They put to-go boxes together, serve meals, put drinks out on the table, put out desserts. Perhaps most important, they greet people, give them a smile and make them feel welcome at a time when people need a human connection. Many of these volunteers have been coming out to help for years.

Providence Ministries Founder and President Roy Johnson said the ministry really depends on these volunteers to keep things running smoothly during the holiday meals.

“We really need them at Christmas because the day is so long,” he said.

Johnson said last year people began lining up for the Christmas meal at 1:30 that morning. Providence staff and volunteers began serving at 8 a.m. and didn’t stop until the early afternoon.

For their efforts, The Daily Citizen names Providence Ministries’ holiday volunteers Citizens of the Week.