January 7, 2019

My name is Patty Kardash and I am an AmeriCorps Arizona Serve member working at Yavapai Regional Transit, which is a local bus service providing economical bus transportation in Yavapai County from Chino Valley to Prescott and Prescott Valley, Arizona.

This past Christmas I had the privilege to participate St. Luke’s Episcopal Church’s 33rd annual “Don’t Spend Christmas Alone.” Hundreds of volunteers came together to provide a warm, friendly atmosphere, fellowship, and a free hot dinner on Christmas Day to all members of the community. Some guests were new to the area, others were unable to join family for various reasons, some had no homes, and some just felt alone.

Yavapai Regional Transit’s role (for three years in a row now) was to provide a bus shuttle between several locations in Chino Valley and St. Luke’s. The shuttle would make several stops at convenient, localized stops in Chino Valley, transporting people free of charge to the event and running return-trips later in the day.

Yavapai Regional Transit is committed to serving our community. Another event we run as a thank-you to our community is free rides for all people—all month long, every December!

It was also my privilege to personally participate as a guest in the program—my husband and I have no family in the area, so we enjoyed a great meal on Christmas Day. It was served family style with volunteers as servers and real china and silverware—just like at Mom’s house!

The menu was: Baked Ham with homemade Scalloped Potatoes, a fresh mixed vegetable dish, a dinner roll, cranberry Sauce and a desert choice of about 10 different pies, all homemade and absolutely delicious.

As we left the hall, there was a table full of Christmas-wrapped, homemade cookie packages, one for each guest.

Santa Claus wished us a Merry Christmas and we went home for a long winter’s nap!

Last year St. Luke’s served 850 meals and this year increased to about 957 people served. Of these, over 400 hot meals were specially packaged and delivered to the homebound, so they could feel part of the community celebration. What a blessing to the individuals and the community!

Thank you, St. Luke’s!