By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Lines of hungry guests formed at Our Daily Bread Christmas morning, escaping single-digit wind chills for a hot meal and some holiday fellowship.
Staff and volunteers at Our Daily Bread opened their doors Christmas morning, just like they do every weekday, to offer Enid’s less fortunate a place to meet, eat and get out of the cold.
Sandy Howard, director at Our Daily Bread, said the kitchen prepared a traditional turkey dinner for an expected crowd of more than 100 guests.
She said volunteers were in no short supply Tuesday, as many people had celebrated Christmas early in anticipation of a predicted storm, and came down to the kitchen to help out Christmas morning.
“I’ve been overwhelmed,” Howard said, referring to the number of volunteers. “I’ve even had to turn some down.”
Bob Farrell started volunteering at Our Daily Bread in April, and came down to help out yesterday with the expectation they’d be short on volunteers.
“We decided to volunteer today, because they usually don’t have a whole lot of help on Christmas,” Farrell said. “But, it’s been inundated today with folks here to help out.
“We’re close to running over each other,” he added, stepping aside to make way for another volunteer refilling water pitchers for the crowd of hungry guests.
He said volunteering at Our Daily Bread was a good way to spend Christmas morning, and to connect with the true meaning of the day.
“It just shows the Christmas spirit, coming in here to help your fellow man, and that’s what this whole facility is about anyway,” Farrell said.
Vera Porter, who volunteers regularly at other nonprofits in Enid, was helping out for the first time yesterday at Our Daily Bread.
“It won’t be the last, because I really enjoy this,” she said, while helping a guest get started in the lunch line.
She said she wanted to share her Christmas morning with the guests at Our Daily Bread, because it was in keeping with the meaning of the day.
“I just wanted to help give out the love of Jesus,” Porter said. “That’s what this day is all about.”
“It’s heartwarming to be able to see them smile,” she said, “and hopefully light them up and make them feel good about this day.”
Suzan Rowley was returning to Our Daily Bread after volunteering last Christmas.
“The first time I did this it made me feel so warm and good inside, I just wanted to do it again,” Rowley said.
She said people in the community should look for ways to help those less fortunate.
“There are so many people less fortunate in this town,” Rowley said. “A lot of us feel like we’re not as fortunate as we could be, but there’s always someone who is less fortunate than us, and we all have something we can offer.”
A group of carolers from Cristo Rey Baptist Church of Hennessey drove to Enid Christmas morning to offer their songs — and their cheer, — to those in need.
“We thought it was a good thing to do to bring our kids here to show our savior’s love with other people who aren’t as fortunate as we are,” said group organizer Carolina Orozco. She brought a group of boys from the church on Christmas Eve, and a group of five girls Christmas morning.
She said the girls were excited about coming to sing at Our Daily Bread Christmas morning, and she was confident it would be “a good experience for them.”
Earl Melvin, who came to Our Daily Bread for Christmas dinner with his wife, Paula, said the efforts of the volunteers meant a lot to him and other guests.
“I’m really glad they’re here,” he said. “They’re all friendly, and they always have a smile on their face. It means a lot to us. We’re just thankul they’re here.”
He said the volunteers and staff at Our Daily Bread mean a lot to his family all year long.
“A lot of people don’t have any place to eat, and they can come down here and they’re able to get a hot meal five days a week,” Melvin said.
“We’re really thankful for everything Sandy does here,” he added, referring to director Sandy Howard.
Howard, who has been coordinating work at Our Daily Bread for 13 years, said the work is directed by a higher power.
“God asked me to do this, so I’m here, and he’ll tell me when he’s done with me,” Howard said.
She said the kitchen staff could use more help from volunteers outside the holiday season, particularly on Wednesdays and Fridays. Anyone interested in volunteering can call her at (580) 242-5718.
“This is a labor of love,” she said. “You do it because you want to do it for the love of the Lord.”