Volunteers prep for Christmas dinner distribution and say they need help

Madelyn Green, 8, and helps her dad decorate packages that will go to families this holiday weekend. / Lindsey Theis

At the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, volunteers are busy preparing 550 whole turkeys and complete fixings for the Feed a Family program. The program, organized by volunteer Abe Safa and Greg Harrelson, provides complete holiday dinners to local families that are delivered on Christmas Eve.

"It's an awakening to get to see first hand, the need that is out there," Harrelson said.

The all-volunteer committee raises the money to cover the costs of the holiday meals, and the Hilton crew and volunteers donate the labor to prepare the dinners.

"It costs $2,400 each year. And everything goes to food and gasoline costs," says Richard Lewis with Feed a Family.

Between those who donate time and money, Lewis says it takes 2,300 people to pull off the distribution each year.

The Feed a Family group has relied on Gennaro and the Hilton crew to prepare the turkey dinners for the past four years. They have been distributing dinners for six years now. In addition to turkeys, the holiday meals are accompanied by stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, a dozen rolls, cranberry sauce and homemade pie.

Members of the community can help by donating money, recommending a family in need or volunteering. Lewis says the biggest thing they need right now is volunteers to help prep.

He says volunteers can visit the feed a family's website, and sign up online or come to the Hilton to volunteer. Volunteers will be working beginning at 10:00a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday prior to Christmas Eve. They'll also begin working at 7:00a.m. Christmas Eve day.