It’s the time of year when people gather with their friends and family to enjoy the holidays, and one Penticton family is making sure everyone has a place to go.
Ashley Fagan and her family are opening their doors on Christmas Day to anyone in the Penticton area who wants to celebrate the holiday together from 3 to 7 p.m.
Fagan posted in numerous Penticton Facebook pages that those interested in joining them for dinner on Dec. 25 can message her on Facebook to get her address and more details.
“I’ve been through a lot in my life and there have been many years at Christmas time I’ve been alone and without family and it was a horrible feeling,” said Fagan in response to why she’d issue a community-wide invite.
“I thought why not spread some love by doing it on Christmas Day as there are so many people that are in lonely situations or can’t afford a Christmas dinner for themselves.”
She said she has received a tremendous response from the community, with about 20 people reserving a spot to attend so far.
Fagan added that she has had one resident in the community volunteer to supply a turkey, while another will be bringing pies and someone else will be delivering cranberry jam.
“For the less fortunate we have five Tim Hortons gift cards to give away. A lady donated them as she was originally going to donate $25, and I ran the idea by her that if we put that into gift cards then the lesser fortunate could have a place to go for a hot coffee and a donut for another day,” said Fagan.
For those who question whether it is safe for their family to bring strangers into their home and around their children, Fagan said people need a little faith.
“My home is full of toys and locked cupboards and safety gates. I have a dog and my friends and husband will be here and I have a background in martial arts and am a pretty strong individual and can handle my own,” said Fagan.
“There is so much fear and no faith left in humanity that people have labelled everyone bad, therefore they won’t do something like this. What happened to the days when we all helped each other out and cared for one another?”
This won’t be the Fagan’s first charitable good deed this holiday season since the family recently stopped by houses in their neighbourhood to hand out homemade cookies.
“Everyone was so happy and grateful, some even seemed confused that someone was doing that,” said Fagan.
“But all those smiles were worth it, and we are hoping to do it again next year and reach further than our block.”
Those interested in attending Christmas dinner at the Fagan’s home in Penticton are asked to reach out to Ashley M. Fagan on Facebook with their name and how many will be attending.
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