The Spencer Dream Center is getting into the holiday spirit, kicking off its "Season of Giving" this week with a community Thanksgiving dinner from 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, in the Grand Dining Room at the Dream Center.
Tuesday's event is the first of three scheduled activities the Dream Center has planned through the next several weeks, celebrating the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. The second activity will occur during Grand Meander and the final effort will be conducted in mid-December.
Calling it the Dream Center's "gift to the entire community," Pastor Kevin Grimes, chairman of the Dream Center Board, said he and his fellow board members are excited to be able to give back Tuesday night.
"It's really just the spirit of the Dream Center," Grimes said. "We want to be characterized for giving. It's what we want the Dream Center to be known for."
He continued, "We really are giving year round, but it's kind of a higher profile season. We know while we have our own family meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have an abundance. Yet, there are some families just scraping to get enough together for one meal."
Close to 100 people have signed up to take part in the meal, and Grimes is expecting approximately 120 to be served Tuesday night.
As it has done for the past two downtown Grand Meander celebrations, the Dream Center will host a toy giveaway for kids with a parent who stop by the center from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3. Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet with children, toys and reconditioned bikes will be distributed while supplies last, and coffee and hot chocolate will be served to those who visit.
"We've never turned anyone away because we've been out of toys. We want to love everybody," Grimes said.
The final event, in conjunction with the Season of Giving, is designed to feed those in need for Christmas. During the week of Monday, Dec. 17, the Dream Center will distribute 150 baskets of food and goodies to families who might otherwise go hungry. The Dream Center will be coordinating with those interested in sponsoring and purchasing food for the holiday baskets.
"We're hoping to get people who are willing to adopt a basket. Of the 150 baskets, less than 50 have been adopted at this time. We're needing people to step up in the community and adopt a basket," Grimes said. Families range in size, but Grimes said someone wishing to donate food or money to adopt a basket can expect to spend $25 on average.
For information on how to get involved or how to sponsor a meal for a family at Christmas, please call 580-4732.