ST. GEORGE — A single mother is taking the community’s generosity and turning it into home-cooked Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for families who may not have one otherwise.
“The coolest thing about it is the families calling afterward, saying how much it meant just to have a hot meal to enjoy with their family,” Alisa Brewer told St. George News. “And that’s the whole point right there – to bring families and community together and to show my daughter that one person can make a difference. Because one person can make a difference.”
Brewer is a single mom who experienced firsthand the type of love and support the Washington County community can provide. She said locals rallied around her and her daughter when they moved to Southern Utah nine years ago, even assisting with a place to live that allowed her to pay as she made money. She vowed that she would find a way to give back when the opportunity presented itself.
And she did.
It all started when she saw a post in a mom’s group on Facebook. In despair, the woman said her entire family of seven had tested positive for COVID-19. While she usually went grocery shopping once a week, she was unable to purchase the ingredients she needed to make her family the meals they needed to survive.
Brewer jumped in and volunteered to make the food if people were able to donate a few dollars to help. Through donations, she was able to purchase food from the store, make the meal and drop it off at their home. But that wasn’t all.
“I think it was maybe $170 the first time, which was a lot more than I was expecting,” Brewer said. “So I made them an entire week’s worth of meals. It was really cool and they were so thankful.”
From there, word quickly spread online and she found herself making meals every week for those in need with donations from the community. When Thanksgiving came around, the community rallied together and she made Thanksgiving dinners for as many families as she could.
“I didn’t have the money, but I had the time,” Brewer said. “We think we don’t have anything to give, but we all have something to give.”
Last year, she was able to make Christmas dinner for 163 people, a story that ended up making it in the news.
“Everyone just kind of knows now,” she said. “If someone says they need a meal, someone tags me, and together we just make it happen. I’m the girl who feeds people. It’s kind of cool to be known for that. And I want my daughter to see that and understand why we do it.”
Not just gifting holiday meals, Brewer said she’s currently cooking about three or four meals a week for families in need within the community. Meals are on a first-come, first-served basis and depend on the amount of meat she has available. Right now, she has five turkeys and five hams donated with three more on the way. One turkey or ham feeds three to five families.
Brewer said she lost her dad this year, and she plans to make the holidays extra special in his memory. She is currently busy being a mom, homeschooling her daughter, painting murals, doing massage therapy and prepping to cook up a storm this holiday season.
Instead of prepping a turkey and decking the halls, many families in Washinton County are dreading the holiday season due to financial strains. For more information on how you can help, visit the Community Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners Facebook page. While monetary donations are accepted, food items are preferred.
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