The Ottawa Mission’s Christmas dinner means different things to different people — and in most cases, it’s much more than just a free meal.
For some, it’s companionship.
“I know everybody here,” said Phil Binelle, who dropped in yesterday. “I hang around here all the time. They’re doing everything good for people.”
For Holly Patterson, volunteering at the Mission is “the right thing to do, to make sure everyone has a little bit of happiness.”
“Anything can happen to anybody at any point,” said the Ottawa resident, who, along with her husband, Mark, has been volunteering at the Mission at all of its holiday meals for three years.
“You could lose your job. You could have mental health issues. You could get sick and not have enough coverage to help with the medication and you can’t go to work anymore. You could be left on disability. It’s very easy to end up somewhere like this.”