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Christmas dinner hosted for senior citizens celebrates 40th anniversary

Posted at 3:01 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 16:01:29-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A retired officer is helping older people avoid spending Christmas alone. Dec. 25, 2017 will mark the 40th year for the Senior Citizen Christmas Dinner.  

Richard White said he got the idea while on patrol in the 1970s.

“I've met elderly people when I was a young police officer and they would be at home alone on Christmas Day and this made me think that they needed something,” White said.  

He’s kept it going through the decades thanks to donations and volunteers.

“It takes many people and many jobs like setting up tables, putting the flowers on the tables which are donated,” White said. “We have to have people that are chefs. We have to have people that are greeters. We have to have people that are servers.”

According to White, the volunteers’ most important task is spending time talking to the guests.

“When you celebrate, you get together and you share with each other and you talk and you visit, and you're sharing this love and this joy, so it's all about the love that we share with each other.”  

This year, the dinner will be served at three different locations

  • First Baptist Church, Blue Springs
  • St. Peter's Elementary School, KCMO 
  • Open Bible Baptist Church, KCMO  

An estimated 600 seniors will attend the Christmas meal this year.

“We are without a doubt the largest family in Kansas City,” White said.  

Kansas City ATA drivers will volunteer to provide rides for those heading to a dinner location.  

If you are interested in volunteering or attending, call 816-572-2646.