Volunteer: Christmas meal makes workers feel like family

Sheral Johnson, housekeeper at Fulton United Church of Christ, adds whipped cream to Rob Aarestad’s dessert Thursday at the annual Christmas meal UCC serves for Kingdom Projects, Inc. workers.

Sheral Johnson, housekeeper at Fulton United Church of Christ, adds whipped cream to Rob Aarestad’s dessert Thursday at the annual Christmas meal UCC serves for Kingdom Projects, Inc. workers. Photo by Mandi Steele.

Workers at Kingdom Projects, Inc., received a taste of Christmas a little early.

Volunteers from Fulton United Church of Christ served about 100 people their annual Christmas dinner Thursday afternoon at KPI. The church has been offering the meal to KPI employees for more than 20 years, bringing food such as turkey, mashed potatoes

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Carmen Kosky, Katie Anderson and David Anderson all volunteer Thursday to serve the annual Fulton United Church of Christ Christmas Dinner at Kingdom Projects, Inc. for the workers there.

and cherry pie to hungry workers.

“I think it’s a very positive thing for everybody,” said Gene Niekamp, KPI supervisor. “(The employees) look forward to it every year.”

Susie Anderson, member of UCC, greeted every KPI worker with a “Merry Christmas” as they came in the door to get their dinner. Anderson explained that many of the workers live in assisted living or group homes and may not have a traditional Christmas meal with their families.

“They seem to really appreciate it,” she said.

Anderson said the Christmas meal was started by UCC member Tony Hotle many years ago. She said Hotle was an educator who “had a special place in his heart for special needs folks.”

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