Now in its seventh year, the WabiSabi Hands Up Christmas dinner has provided hundreds of holiday meals to local residents and visitors alike. Last year, 450 meals were served, organizers said.
More than 100 volunteers cook, serve, clean, decorate and coordinate the meal, which is made possible by generous donations from the community. Red Cliffs Lodge will prepare the full Christmas dinner and the Grand Center contributes the facility for serving and dining.
“We live in such a generous and supportive community, and it’s great to harness that good energy and share it with everyone,” said Holly Dinsmore, WabiSabi’s warehouse manager and the organizer of the Hands Up community meals. “This is a tough time for everyone, and whatever we can do to help people out, we want to do it.”
Dinsmore says a broad cross-section of the community attends the Hands Up meals each year – everyone from schoolteachers and business owners, to the unemployed and homeless. And while all appreciate the free meal, it’s more about building the bonds of community than helping people through lean economic times, she said in the news release.
“Plus,” she added, “we don’t want to see anyone spend the holidays alone.”
Generous community involvement is vital to the success of the event, organizers said in the news release.
“We’ve had a great year and we want to give back,” Red Cliffs’ Chef Charley Every said in the news release.
Dinsmore stressed that the event would not be possible without the help of community volunteers. WabiSabi is currently seeking volunteers to help with meal setup, serving and cleanup. Those interested in getting involved should contact Mandy Turner at 435-259-2553 or by email at email@example.com. WabiSabi is unable to accept food donations from individuals as all food served must be prepared in a commercial kitchen. The organization does accept financial contributions for the event. Those contributions may be mailed to WabiSabi, 1030 S. Bowling Alley Lane, Moab, UT 84532.
“It’s amazing to see how many people jump in and help out with these meals,” Dinsmore. said “We are so fortunate to live in a community where everyone wants to get involved and help one another out. It’s truly an expression of the holiday spirit. Hands Up is a chance for the individuals, nonprofits and businesses of Moab to unite in sustaining area residents and the community at large.”
For more information about WabiSabi visit the group’s website at www.wabisabimoab.org.