Johnston County Volunteers Serve Christmas Dinner to Hundreds

By: Lauren Smith
By: Lauren Smith

TISHOMINGO, OK -- "The smiles on their faces is the motivation."

That's why Cindy Mathery says she helped found the Johnston County free Christmas dinner 32 years ago.
What started as an effort to feed a few families, has grown into a county wide Celebration, feeding hundreds.
Mathery has help from sponsors like the Tishomingo Development team, several local businesses, and dozens of volunteers.

"They might be older, or single parents, or just by themselves by chance, chance of life."

This is Candice Oliver's second year serving Christmas dinner at the Murray state college cafeteria.

"I want to be here and say, you know, this is it. This is love. This is Christmas. And give them the Christmas they may not have with anyone else."

"Oh it's a blessing, it's a blessing. This town is so good."

Johnston County resident, Jerry Burkham, says she and her husband have come to the dinner for the past 12 years, since they have no family nearby.

"They work so hard for us, to give us this time together."

Mathery says volunteers also delivered meals to more than two hundred people who aren't able to leave home.

"We have someone from every community in Johnston County that comes and takes and delivers to their community for the home-bound that can't get out."

Oliver says, in all, over four hundred meals were served.
And to her, giving back to the community is what Christmas is about.

"You know, we realize what it's all about. It's about love and it's about the birth of Christ who loved us the most. So that's why I do it."

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