Ypsilanti

Ypsi nonprofit to host free holiday dinner Dec. 23

Ypsilanti nonprofit Women and Men Working for Change will host its third annual free Christmas Dinner in the Community from 4-7 p.m. Dec. 23. The event is open to all and will be held in the parking lot of Trojan's Cleaner, 20 N. Adams St. in Ypsilanti, with dinner provided through an MJS Catering food truck.

Women and Men Working for Change Vice President Lisa Jones says her cherished memories of big family dinners with parents and grandparents were part of what inspired her to suggest that the organization begin hosting the annual dinner.

"I get to share these big holiday dinners with my children, but I know a lot of people aren't as fortunate," she says. "Christmas was one of my grandmother's favorite holidays. It's not about gifts, really. It's about giving back."

Women and Men Working for Change was established by Ypsilanti resident Cherisa Allen five years ago. The organization is perhaps best known in the community for hosting an annual 5K walk to raise funds and awareness for domestic violence prevention.

Last year, proceeds from the walk went to The ENOUGH Initiative. This year, Allen says, funds raised from the event will be presented to an individual during the Christmas dinner.

Allen says she and Jones originally pictured feeding the homeless but decided to open the dinner up to the entire community. They have served about 250 meals at each of the two previous dinners.

For the first time, volunteers this year will also deliver meals to residents of two nearby senior living complexes, with some help from volunteers from another local nonprofit, Supreme Felons

The evening's event will include a full holiday dinner including chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and a dessert table. There will be musical entertainment, and Allen says she'd like to gather people for Christmas caroling as well.

More information about the event is available here.

Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She joined Concentrate as a news writer in early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at sarahrigg1@gmail.com.

Photo courtesy of Women and Men Working for Change.