A letter from Lane and Evelyn Curlee:
On Christmas morning at 9:30, over 100 Tullahoma-area residents gathered in the Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital cafeteria, giving up part of their Christmas morning to package meals for 544 of the less fortunate in Tullahoma.
The day before, Sunday afternoon, over 50 residents brought desserts to share with the 544. Cafeteria staff stayed late on Christmas Eve, and the same arrived as early as 1 a.m. Christmas morning to finish preparing the food.
At 10:30 Christmas morning another large group of people arrived to deliver the meals. After loading up the appropriate number of meals for each household, they fanned out across Tullahoma to the 174 families who had requested a meal. The meals were delivered to low-income and down-on-their-luck families, homebound, elderly, disabled veterans, chronically ill, unemployed, underemployed, and those who were just alone and lonely on Christmas Day.
Some citizens generously donated money to help pay for the food, which the hospital provided at their cost.
It was heartwarming to see entire families and individuals come together to serve others. After all, that is sort of what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? We really appreciate all the different ways people helped to make this 24th Christmas Day meal effort a success. It could not have happened without the help of the many volunteers.
We also appreciate all the Tullahoma grocery stores who helped by providing additional desserts, along with several churches that also collected desserts. A special thank you to Vanderbilt Tullahoma Harton-Hospital administration for allowing us to host this effort at their cafeteria and the cafeteria staff for working so hard to prepare 544 delicious meals. In some small way, we believe all who helped benefited as much as the recipients. They provided hope and encouragement to a special group of people who perhaps needed some hope and encouragement on Christmas Day. Thank you again to the ones who spent Christmas morning serving the less fortunate in Tullahoma.