LAURINBURG — The Crusaders will be giving away a Christmas dinner Friday to community members to remind them of the reason for the season.
The public is welcome to stop by Washington Park Christmas Day at 11 a.m. to receive a free Christmas dinner from the Crusaders organization. The group will set up in a vacant parking lot across from Washington Park located on Caledonia Road and Vance Street, near the old car wash.
“It’s just a blessing to give back to the community and we want to reach people outside of the church walls.” said Glenda Smith, founder of the non-profit church-based organization. “I just want people to feel loved and welcome to it.”
There will be 100 Christmas dinner plates given away. The plates will include turkey, ham, dressing and gravy, greens, macaroni and cheese and other seasonal dishes. Goody bags filled with fruit, chips, cookies and a drink will be also be handed out.
“Charles Campbell donated 100 goody bags for adults and we’re going to donate 100 more to the children,” Smith said. “We forget the real reason for Christmas … there are so many people out there who don’t even have an orange.”
Crusaders members plan to go door-to-door to bring out a crowd during the event. However, more than local residents are invited to take part.
“We are targeting anyone that needs a plate or wants a plate, there is no person that can’t come” she said. “We will not turn anyone away because we give it away with love.”
All the food is provided through donations.
“We’re really been blessed,” she said. “If you don’t have money, your time is just as important, about 20 will be helping pass out plates and bags.”
The organization has provided a Christmas breakfast before — but never a Christmas dinner.
“The breakfast was a success and that’s the area where we get the best results,” she said from previous experience handing out food near Washington Park. “They come out and come together.”
Crusaders was founded by Smith to help with drug prevention and give back to the community.
“It was a vision that God gave to me and the theme of it was, do you know where your children are?” she said.
Now Smith leads programs, like the Christmas dinner, to help any and everyone.
“She created this and we go out and do different little things for people, we cook the food and take it out to the people,” said member Peggy Thomas. “We like to give and she’s the leader of it and she is a great leader.”
Smith is happy to give back and finds her work the work of God.
“God has opened so many doors financially and it’s just such a blessing to give back,” Smith said. “Everybody has been so awesome and that’s what it’s about.”
For information on the Crusaders call Sister Glenda Smith at 910-276-7759 or Sister Marilyn McPhatter at 910-373-9700.
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.