Asbell Foundation hosts 7th annual community Christmas dinner

CARL JUNCTION, Mo.–On Christmas, many across the four states may choose to gather with their family or loved ones to celebrate. But for some, that isn’t an option.

It’s why Krista Asbell first organized the Asbel foundation’s free community dinner seven years ago.

“Seven years ago, my father-in-law passed away, and Christmas was just too hard for us to get together without him,” Asbell said. “We wish there was someplace for us to go or serve or do something a little different. We really wanted it to be something for everyone, not just people that were in need, but just people who maybe just didn’t feel like cooking or empty nesters. and so we wanted to provide that space for them and also provide a space for their people to give back to the community.”

So on Christmas day, Asbell and a team of volunteers serve the Carl Junction Community

“We start preparing in November and it actually goes off really well with all of our awesome volunteers that you see here. and you may notice that there’s a lot more talking than eating going on, and that’s because we figure it out. people really want a place for connection on Christmas, and they want to feel that community connection and just be together and enjoy the holiday. So, fortunately, we can provide that with a hot meal.”

One volunteer, Misha Honey says it not only feels good to give back to her community but to show her children the impact they can make as well.

“It feels pretty good to be able to show my children that Christmas and life, in general, isn’t just about us or them, being able to show them that there are people who really need to feel that sense of family and don’t always have somebody to come to their house or to go to somebody else’s house. So I really, really enjoy my children being able to see that.”

Plus with the lingering pandemic, it’s something to bring the community closer together, when being together has been a challenge.

“I feel like it’s even more important,” Asbell said. “I know last year we only did carry out meals and to-go orders because we felt like people still needed. It is still very important. And the same thing with this year, you know, we’re fortunate to be able to do a dine-in option, but I feel like people, they really miss that connection. So we’re just so lucky to be able to have everyone gather together and feel connected on Christmas.”

Asbell said the best part, is knowing they’re making a positive impact on the community’s lives.