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Father Carr’s Place 2B hands out hundreds of Christmas meals in Oshkosh

Published: Dec. 25, 2020 at 7:53 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - At this point in the pandemic, Father Carr’s Place 2B in Oshkosh has its drive-through meal service down. But Friday morning marked a special meal giveaway, one that aimed to spread a little Christmas cheer.

Santa Claus himself made a point to stop by Father Carr’s, helping to hand out hundreds of holiday meals.

“We’re actually giving out some stockings with the drive-ups and a really nice warm meal of ham and potatoes and corn, and some bread and a pumpkin,” said Michelle Diener, a volunteer. “So you’re getting a little warm in your belly and a little warm in your heart.”

Volunteers warming up hearts the best they can, considering how different this year’s event is comparted to the usual in-person tradition, which Diener would know well since she’s volunteered with Father Carr’s since childhood.

“It’s very different because we’re not seeing all those faces we normally would see, and just to be able to hug somebody and give them that merry Christmas is really awesome, and we’re not able to do as much as we did before,” said Diener.

Though it’s all very different to longtime volunteers, plenty of people are joining in for the first time.

“I just wanted to kind of get out of my comfort zone and start trying some new things. So I started off at the free clinic next door, and then she mentioned this place,” said Colton Sandstrom.

Sandstrom is a pre-med student with UW-Oshkosh and says it’s interesting to volunteer in a time when medical precautions are being taken in places you wouldn’t typically expect. But he’s planning to volunteer even after the pandemic is over.

“I genuinely love volunteering, it’s not just for pre-med purposes or for the experience, it’s just to help others and give back to my community,” said Sandstrom.

Giving back has taken on an extra special meaning this year.

“It makes me feel really happy to be able to help because we know there’s a lot of people that are in need and also just to give them a little smile, a little perk up, because this year had been really tough for a lot of people,” said Diener.

But Diener encourages people to take that giving spirit beyond the holidays and into 2021.

“If you’re able to help and volunteer in your community I would encourage you to do that, there is a need all year round, it’s not just during the holidays,” said Diener.

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