Joplin church members volunteer their Christmas to helping others

For more than four decades, volunteers at a Joplin church dedicate Christmas day to mashing potatoes and serving up plates.

Volunteers get a 4am wake up call to put aprons on and chop and stir to the tune of Christmas classics.

"The smiles on their face, the greetings that you get, the thanks, the praise, it's just very rewarding to be able to do that,” says Jim Everitt, a volunteer for 15 years.

It may be Christmas morning but these volunteers are busy at work, making what they call the most satisfying meal of the year.

"I think it'll be great just to like make people's day and stuff and come over and bring them stuff. Especially if they're in need of stuff like that and can't provide it for their own families,” says Desiree Shofler, a first year volunteer..

Coming from the kitchen of Joplin's First Community Church, 800 warm plates are served or home-delivered. There are the "veteran" servers who've been there for decades.
"My wife and I got married here 48 years ago,” says Jim Everitt.

And in recent years, a crowd of younger faces dedicating their time.

"Not like when I was younger, but as something to really help other people and stuff like that,” says Desiree Shofler.

Whether it's their first year, or their 43rd, each volunteer remembers what spreading Christmas cheer really means.

"It actually might be the only people they visit with the whole day. It's not only being able to to take food to them, but also the fact that they have somebody to visit with on Christmas,” says Jim Everitt.

And they’ll continue to do so when the calendar marks December 25th.

"I wish I would have started doing it sooner,” says Desiree Shofler.

"So long as our health holds out we certainly will continue," says Jim Everitt.

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