MP Watson helps out at Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission Christmas Day

 

Essex MP Jeff Watson, surrounded by volunteers  with the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission, helped serve Christmas dinner Dec. 25.

Essex MP Jeff Watson, surrounded by volunteers with the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission, helped serve Christmas dinner Dec. 25.

By Ron Giofu

 

It’s been a decade of Christmas morning service for Essex MP Jeff Watson.

Watson, decked out in a blue apron adorned with the Conservative Party logo, was in the kitchen of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission Christmas morning helping to carve turkeys and serve them to those less fortunate or to those simply wanting to enjoy the company of others on the holiday.

“This is my tenth annual ’12 Days of Caring’,” explained Watson. “We always culminate it by serving meals at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.”

Watson said he and his family perform good deeds ranging from reading to school children in Kingsville to delivering Meals on Wheels in Belle River among other charitable events during their dozen days.

“We do at least one thing in every community in my riding,” the Member of Parliament explained.

After ten years, Watson said the volunteers he works with “feel like family” and “you can just see the love pouring out.” He used the community spirit found at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission as an example of why he said he and his family enjoy living in Amherstburg.

“Amherstburg is an amazing community,” he said. “I’m proud to live here. It’s an amazing place.”

People have an inherent desire to help others, Watson believed.

“I really believe people are wired to serve,” he said. “We feel at our best when we are actually meeting needs.”

Watson added that can occur through donating money, items or time.

“There’s a lot of different ways to do it. We weren’t meant to be isolated. We were really meant to be helping each other,” he stated.

Nations are at their best when each individual community are strong, he suggested.

“Any country is only as strong as its communities and any community is only as strong as its families,” said Watson.

When families aren’t there to fill the need, other people are needed to step in so people can “take care of each other,” Watson added.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister said he spent much of night Christmas Eve and into Christmas morning preparing five turkeys. He noted he had help from a lot of volunteers as well.

“It’s sad I had to turn people away because you can only use so many people,” said McAllister, noting people can volunteer now that the holidays are over.

A meal was prepared for 120 people, said McAllister, with people served at their tables unlike having to go to the kitchen window for food like a normal day.

“We make the place look like a real home,” he said. “Christmas is special because we go the extra mile.”

Despite spending much of the night at the mission preparing for the noon meal, McAllister said adrenaline from the day gets he and his volunteers through it.

“You don’t get tired when you are helping people. You want Christmas to be a special day,” he stated. “If you get tired, the energy from the excitement boosts you.”

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