In its third year running, the Interact Club of Golden’s Anti-Grinch Project has returned to serve up hot Christmas dinners to families in need.
Combining the efforts of experienced Interactors and new students in the crew, these volunteers receive nominations from the community, gather all of the ingredients and supplies they need, and have a day-long cook off in the kitchens at Golden Secondary School to provide a hot meal to families who need it on Christmas.
“This is our third annual Anti Grinch. It’s based on giving to people who have less,” said Zarya Powell-Thompson, who has worked on the project since its inception.
The students cook a full turkey dinner, and they buy gifts for the families if they have requests for items that they can’t afford.
“If they really want something that’s not too far out of our reach, we will try to do that,” Powell-Thompson said.
The students don’t mind taking time out of their holidays to help out families in need. Both Powell-Thompson and Interact newcomer Georgia Gale said that their families typically celebrate on Christmas Eve in the evening and Christmas Day.
“The most exciting part is getting into the Christmas spirit. I watched a video, and it looked so fun and meaningful to do as a group on Christmas Eve,” Gale said.
The nominations for families are kept anonymous from anyone other than Greg Ehman, who receives them on behalf of the Interact Club. Last year, the Interact Club cooked dinner for 13 families, and this year they hope to provide the dinner to at least 15. The number of turkeys they can cook depends on how many kitchens are available at the high school, they explained. Last year, they did end up turning away some people, even though they didn’t want to, just because there weren’t enough ovens and food safe facilities available.
“All of the families we give to have financial struggles,” Powell-Thompson said, adding that sometimes they go to single-income families, or families with many children.
The Interact Club still has more room for nominations, which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. People are also able to sponsor families if they want to donate the meal directly to someone. Many businesses come together in town to donate to the Interact Club to make the Anti-Grinch Project a success each year, from cash donations to turkeys.