It’s a deeply beloved tradition in Pasadena: each Christmas, more than 800 volunteers of all ages – adorned with hair nets, aprons and plastic gloves – lovingly serve turkey with stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and pie to those less fortunate in Pasadena’s Central Park.
The tradition known as Dinner-in-the-Park began in 1972 when a group of local volunteers organized a free holiday meal to feed homeless and poor people in the community. More than four decades later, Union Station Homeless Service continues to organize the annual meal as an expression of compassion and care for those who otherwise might not see such holiday fare.
This year, the tradition continues. Union Station Homeless Services expects to serve more than 3,000 plates of food at its Annual Dinner-in-the-Park event on Christmas Day. The event feeds thousands thanks to the help of volunteers, and key community partners, including Goldstar, Home Street Bank, Tsutayo Ichioka & Satsuki Nakao Charitable Foundation, Super King, Longo Toyota-Scion-Lexus, Sprouts Famers Market, Centerplate, and the Pasadena Convention Center. Special guests will include City Manager Michael Beck, Pasadena Councilmember Terry Tornek, and a special invocation by Rev. Marlene Pomeroy of the First Congregational Church of Pasadena, plus many more!
This wonderful community event provides thousands of holiday meals and hope for all who attend, including homeless men, women, children, seniors, very low-income families, and those with no place to go during the holidays.
“We are so grateful to the caring volunteers who bring warmth and the true spirit of community to Central Park each year,” said Marv Gross, CEO of Union Station Homeless Services. “Their efforts to help us feed thousands of people are truly inspirational!”
Volunteer registration for Christmas is now closed. To learn more, visit www.unionstationhs.org.
Please Note: Due to Health Department regulations, Union Station Homeless Services is no longer able to accept turkey or prepared food donations at the event.
Union Station Homeless Services, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is committed to helping homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives. Union Station Homeless Services is part of a premier group of human services agencies in Los Angeles County that are leading the way to ending homelessness in our community. We are the San Gabriel Valley’s largest social service agency assisting homeless and very low-income adults and families. We believe every person deserves a life of dignity and a safe place to call home. With 41 years of experience, we proudly offer a full continuum of eight programs in seven locations; services include street outreach, intake/assessment, care coordination and navigation, meals, shelter, housing, employment development, benefits enrollment, and referrals to medical and mental health services.