Garberville Veterans Invite Community to Join Them for Christmas Dinner

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This year’s Christmas meal will be at the Mateel Community Center in the main hall on Monday, December 25th. The meal is served at noon after a brief prayer. At 2, Santa appears and has gifts.

If you would like to help serve the meal, please come as early as 8 a.m.

Christmas tree

Decorations at the 2015 Veterans Christmas Day Meal.

The 35 year Garberville Veteran Association Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday Celebrations have been just that–Community Celebrations attended by community members of various socioeconomic ranks.

Many veterans volunteered to serve the greater good of our country. We now live in our community. We attempt to model what it is to be a citizen and a community member, maybe it is due to our training or our experience that we are all one. Look around we serve our community in many ways. In a small way these celebrations offer a healthy holiday meal with all the fixins and a healthy community event to all who come. We do not exclude anyone from Thanksgiving nor from Christmas. In the last three decades we typically have provided 340 to 360 meals and our extras were sent to the Mateel Community Center’s homeless meal program.

We have served free meals to all comers. The homeless human beings are truly invited and at Christmas are presented with a free pair of good socks and maybe something else. We believe that this small event spreads the connective vibration to even the poorest of our locals. Many homeless stay after and clean up ’til well after dark.

We provide a celebratory ambiance for all to share in this community event

Decorating the hall

4-H members decorating the Mateel Community Hall in December 2016 [Photo by Frenchy LeClair]

The last few years the 4-H have decorated for our events in a spectacular artistic way. We pray before the meal. We thank the volunteers. We thank the contributors We thank the animals. We ask for donations and receive small change and large denomination bills. 

The people we welcome and who attend our event are a few paychecks from losing their home, families, singles and couples who otherwise would be alone, still others who are not invited to their sweetie’s family holiday event come by so that they do not have to be alone, the sheriff tells those he sees who might benefit from the comradery and the food to come by and other male and female human beings that fall into too many unique categories as well.

We also send dinners to all the the motel workers and via the meals on wheels program drivers to all the housebound seniors. The towns businesses are all closed on our two holiday events so the gas stations and the motel workers tell the people just off the highway about the celebration.

Our building was not maintained for several years and we started losing class and public and private event renters due to a toxic mold condition. As most know the building was closed by the health department. Thankfully The Mateel Community Center let us hold our 2016 Celebrations there. Last year’s event was slim in attendance because of the move but Thanksgiving 2017 served about 300. With Santa adding to the upcoming Christmas Celebration we are planning for more. Local veteran, Dr. Brian Ormond



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