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Mission set to aid needy with Three Days of Christmas
Santa must be impressed how Crossroads Mission treats thousands of Yumans to a three-day feast every Christmas without the help of even one magical elf.
Organizers expect to serve 1,200 meals each day at the mission's headquarters, including a 500 meals delivered around town with nary the help of a flying sleigh.
Special events coordinator Barbara Rochester says Crossroads Mission is able to work this massive miracle each holiday thanks to the magic of something much powerful than elves – generous Yumans.
“This is such a generous community,” Rochester raved. “I want to thank this community for supporting Crossroads, not just at the holidays, but throughout the year. We are open every day, 24 hours a day. When someone walks in, whether it's for detox or the family shelter, they are taken care of.”
To make Three Days of Christmas happen each year requires the help of 350 volunteers each day.
“There is just so much to be done each day,” Rochester said.
Meals for Three Days of Christmas will be served Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the mission, located at 944 S. Arizona Ave. The free meals will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Activities and entertainment for all ages begins each day at 10 a.m.
Marines with the Toys for Tots campaign will give a special gift to every child who attends the meal on Christmas Day.
“We are planning to serve 1,000 more meals than last year,” Rochester said. “More families than ever before are coming to the shelter to eat, and people's unemployment checks seem to be running out. We are hoping that the economy turns around, but we haven't seen it this year. We haven't seen the numbers drop yet.”
Crossroads will serve a traditional Mexican meal on Monday, followed by a pot roast dinner on Tuesday. Christmas Day's meal will feature a traditional turkey dinner.
“We will also deliver meals to people who are frail or elderly and have no family, and the mentally ill,” Rochester said. People wanting to arrange for meal delivery can call 580-4482.
Rochester stressed that in addition to volunteer help, Crossroads also needs food donations.
“We desperately need desserts! The children's favorite thing is jelly-filled doughnuts,” she said. “We also served lots of our turkeys and hams for Thanksgiving. Donations of those would also be great appreciated.”
Donations can be dropped off at 944 S. Arizona Ave. around the clock. For information about donating or volunteering, call Crossroads Mission at 783-9362.