A tradition of giving the gift of inclusion
Everyone's story is a little different, but there's little doubt that making sure people aren't alone on Christmas makes a difference.
For Pam and Don Furlan, that difference is making a Christmas meal for those who need it. The tradition continues this year.
Once again the Canby Adult Center will open its doors on Christmas day for those who may have nowhere to go.
"It's a huge blessing," said Pam Furlan, who along with her husband run the annual event. "We get to see a lot of people who would otherwise be spending Christmas by themselves. It's a chance to bring people together so they have someone to spend the day with. Food is an important ingredient for family gatherings, but we just want to bring people together and share the love of Christ with them. We want everyone to be loved on."
"We get to see a lot of people who would otherwise be spending Christmas by themselves." -Pam Furtan
The annual free dinner will be Tuesday, Dec. 25. Doors will open at noon for warming, fellowship and games, with the meal about 1 p.m. This year's menu includes a full turkey and ham dinner with all the trimmings, including some allergy friendly options.
The last couple of years the event has drawn around 100 people – volunteers and guests, up from the 60 to 75 the program saw before its move to the Canby Adult Center.Furlan notes that the closer proximity to Hope Village likely has much to do with the increase in numbers, something she's thankful for.
"We see a lot of smiles and get a load of thanks, but we find it to be such a blessing to see people enjoying themselves," Pam said. "Some just eat and go, but other stay and visit in the company of others. We get a lot of different stories about why they come, but we feel blessed to see people enjoying themselves on Christmas."
The Canby Adult Center is at 1250 S. Ivy St. in Canby.
An RSVP is not necessary, but would be appreciated so an approximate count could be made.
For more information, call or text Pam at 503-320-2245 with a name and how many.