The U.S. O. In Jacksonville stepped in this Christmas with its 18th annual holiday dinner to feed Marines and others away from home for the holidays. The numbers are staggering: 1,000 people fed in-house at the dinner, over 140 volunteers, and if you couldn't make it to Jacksonville between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., they brought your meal to you.
Guests at the United Service Organizations' building on Tallman Street were served turkey, ham,stuffing, potatoes, green beans, corn, and desserts. Hundreds were piling in when the doors opened this morning to get their free Christmas meal. Volunteers were passing out silverware and plates, serving food, waiting tables, and even transporting to-go orders. Director Deb Fisher says they planned to send more than 400 orders to bases all over eastern carolina, even as far south as Wilmington. The holiday dinner is a gesture that local marines say, doesn't go unappreciated.
"It really does something to me inside. It touches me. It definitely does. It lets me know that these people are genuinely caring about what they do, and this is year in and year out. They do this all the time." said Marine Joseph Price.
Fisher says the dinner is made possible with food and money donations from the community.