The faces of 9-year-old Jair Mundy and his brother, Lavonte, 8, lit up when Santa and Mrs. Claus handed them a hover ball and a Funko Pop! Han Solo doll on Friday evening.
Lavonte Mundy, 8, reacts as Santa and Mrs. Claus give him a Funko Pop! Han Solo action figure during a special Christmas meal at Our Daily Bread made possible by Honda Go volunteers on Friday evening. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)
“Wow!” the older brother said as he opened up his ball to show to other children who had come to the Our Daily Bread meal on Friday. “This is pretty cool.”
The visit from Santa Claus was made possible by a team of volunteers from Honda Go, who also served the pre-Christmas meal.
They also prepared and passed our about 100 gift bags with food and personal items to everyone who attended the meal, volunteer coordinator Ginger Haynes said.
In total, about 70 Honda Go volunteers will help at Our Daily Bread, Lutheran Community Services and the Thursday meal at the United Methodist Church in the week leading up to Christmas, Ms. Haynes said.
Dan Branson, a 29-year Honda associate who lives in the neighborhood near the thrift store and meal site, said it means a lot to him to be able to help many of the people he counts as neighbors and friends.
“I’m blessed to be able to do this,” he said as he took a break from his duties serving food. “A lot of these people are my neighbors, so it’s a real blessing to be able to help them out.
“It makes you realize that when you think you are having a rough day you can appreciate what you have.”
Daniel Cox and other Honda Go volunteers deliver meals to families during a Friday evening Christmas dinner at Our Daily Bread. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)
And those receiving the meals and gifts were grateful as well.
“This is an amazing way for them to give back or to pay it forward to the less fortunate,” Bellefontaine resident Jodi Sellars said. “So many people can’t afford Christmas and a hot meal, let alone, taking the kids out to see Santa.”
The Honda volunteers will help the LCS staff and other volunteers pack food Monday to be distributed Tuesday. Families who have pre-registered will then be able to pick up toys on Thursday.