A hot meal with company delivered a great gift in the Quad Cities area.
Hundreds of people showed up for the 7th annual Sonya Brown Memorial Christmas Meal in at Faith Walk World Outreach Center in Silvis.
It was open to anyone who wanted to be there for the holiday.
The meal is a way for Sonya’s daughter to remember her mother who died shortly before this tradition started.
“This means Christmas to me. This is my Christmas tradition,” said Sonya’s daughter Kristin Brown. “It’s crazy to think that I’ve been doing this for a third of my Christmases now, so it’s almost hard to think of a Christmas where I wasn’t here. It’s getting to that point a little bit. To me, it’s all about family, blood and non-blood. It’s all about friends and family coming together.”
Organizers told Local Four News, this is one of the largest turnouts they’ve had.
A bus running between local shelters made sure people could get to the meal.
Guest Gregory Danzi said, “My brothers appreciate y’all and Merry Christmas cause you know what, we ain’t with our families or none of that, we family now.”
Guest Cohn Jacobs said, “We be having a good time, eating my Turkey.”
All of the leftovers are saved for a free weekly meal the church helps put together.
To make it all possible involves a small army of volunteers working some long hours Christmas Day to help brighten people’s day, fill their stomachs and provide companionship.
“Nice to have everybody here. So much help in the kitchen, out in the dining room, out to greet people. It just shows how loving everyone is. It’s not just a few people willing to help,” said volunteer and Sonya’s niece Alexis Rath.
There is an account for the meal set up at Vibrant Credit Union people can donate to, just ask for the Sonya Brown Memorial account.