THE annual Tamworth Salvation Army Christmas luncheon is Dulcie Townsend’s favourite day of the year.
In fact, she put off going to hospital, just so she could be there.
“I’d crawl out of hospital if I had to, just to come down here,” she said.
“I love all the people. It’s such a great atmosphere.
“It’s always lovely when you see people from last year and they come up to say hello.”
Salvation Army captain Dean Clutterbuck said while he knew many people cherished the occasion, it was always a pleasant surprise to hear stories like Ms Townsend’s.
“We know that it’s a special day, but it blows me away to hear that story,” Mr Clutterbuck said.
“Today is all about the community coming together.
“This community is a fantastic community, and using Dulcie as an example, this is a special day for her every year, and it’s probably because she gets to come and spend time with other people.
“There are folk out there who might not have anyone to share Christmas with, so they can come here, share stories and have a meal with each other.”
About 300 people registered for the lunch, which was a traditional roast served by Meals On Wheels.
Mr Clutterbuck said there were a few empty seats, so the charity hit the airwaves, and put the call out over the radio for people to come down and join the festivities.
It’s one of the few times strangers come together to share a laugh and a meal.
“That’s why it’s so special, they’re strangers, but the commonality is that they are part of the Tamworth family,” Mr Clutterbuck said.
Along with a hot meal, every man, woman and child got a gift to take home with them.
On Wednesday, the charity handed out garbage bags filled to the brim with toys to 658 children from 264 households.
The Salvation Army will hold its Christmas Day Service at 9am on Tuesday, December 25, at its church on 328 Goonoo Goonoo Road.
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