Christmas dinner cancelled
Who has spare time to volunteer anymore?
Timaru's Community Christmas Dinner is off.
The cancellation, which is due to a shortage of people willing to co-ordinate the event, will force scores of people to break from their Christmas Day tradition.
Jericho Road Charitable Trust has hosted the event for the past five years, with the help of 30 volunteers and 12 key people to co-ordinate the day in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Co-ordinators Lindsay and Nyree Moore agreed that the trust's members had a tough decision pulling the pin on this year's event, but there was no other option.
"There were people that were prepared to help . . . as volunteers on the day, but there was nobody who was prepared to take responsibility for an area, like cooks. When you don't have those people and you're catering for 250 people you just can't do it," Mr Moore said.
"It is a shame because it's something I've always enjoyed."
Mr and Mrs Moore believe it would be a big call if another group was to put its hand up for the job this late in the year.
"It's hard work," Mr Moore said.
Last year's dinner, hosted at the Caroline Bay Hall, was attended by people from as far away as Christchurch, many were in Timaru to escape the quakes.
Mr Moore said the trust would look at hosting the dinner again next year, but for now it was important people remembered to "reach out" to their neighbours and friends who they know will be alone this Christmas.
"It's Christmas - reach out to people that you know, or see - the solo dads or mum across the road that you can see don't have anything. Reach out and say ‘come and have Christmas with us'."
- The Timaru Herald