Through this event, the spirit of Christmas is lived at the most basic level—Thou shalt love thy neighbor

Every year, since Christmas 2001, Everyman volunteers have served Christmas lunch to over 2,500 children, adults and the elderly living in extreme poverty.  In addition to lunch, there are drinks, toys and Christmas bags distributed. After months of preparation and hard work, the volunteers begin the distribution of the Christmas lunch, drinks, bags and toys at 12 noon. It’s a major and magical logistical effort involving many people:

  • The University of Colon provides its kitchens for us to cook in (Their staff volunteer to help us on Christmas day)
  • The university provides the buses to bus the kids in from as far as 30 miles outside Colon (Their drivers volunteer to help us on Christmas day)
  • The merchants in the Colon Free Trade Zone provide the toys at cost
  • The food wholesalers provide the food at cost
  • The city of Colon provides the space and the police to run and organize the event
  • And, the most importantly, the team of Everyman volunteers led by Omar who, year after year, give up weeks of their lives and their Christmas day to make it all happen.

Planning starts early. There are different committees formed that are responsible for getting the job done.

During the months beforehand, the volunteers have the responsibility of selecting the poor families and the elderly that will be participating in the event. They provide each member of the family   selected (father, mother, boy or girl) with a ticket to participate. The number of tickets distributed has to be carefully planned because we know by experience, that on Christmas day, almost the same number of people without tickets will arrive at the door.

Typically, the volunteers distribute 1,500 children’s tickets and 600 adults tickets. To the people we let into the event, with and without tickets, we distribute 7,000 toys to the children and we serve more than 2,500 Christmas lunches and drinks to all the participants. Additionally, we distribute 2,000 Christmas bags to the children.

The event brings overwhelming joy to so many families and allows the spirit of Christmas to be lived at the most basic level—Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self.


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Christmas Day