Some of the best memories on Christmas Day for some people has been the love they were shown by total strangers.
Most of local residents spent the day with loved ones such as friends and family. However, for some folks, being alone for Christmas is something they have become accustomed. Not anymore.
Tommy and Marea Wilson changed all that for the Crossroads area last year. The couple started an old-fashioned “Crossroads Christmas” for those who had no where to go for Christmas, and no one to share the day.
As part of their Living Free Ministries way of giving back to the community, the Wilson family started this event in 2012 and watched over 300 people filter into their building in Corinth.
“This is a special day for us for many reasons,” Tommy said at the event Wednesday. “We are just thankful to be here first off, thankful to have a place to fellowship, for all this food and the volunteers who are here to serve our guests . . . what a great day. A day to give praise for our Saviors birth together.”
From 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. the Christmas spirit of love was in the air. Food was plentiful, along with smiles and hugs, while other activities went on such as showing Christmas movies to the guests.
“We expect to see over 300 people come through here again today,” Tommy added. “Movies will be played here in the front of the building on the big screen while folks eat at the tables, and another movie will be played in the back with our big screen.”
A first year visitor to the Christmas event, Chris Raid from Corinth, said he was proud to be a part of the Living Free event.
“I have been attending out here for a few months while living with my grandmother,” Raid said. “She passed away a few months ago so I started coming here for emotional and spiritual support. Tommy and his wife have been a blessing to me. A day like Christmas can be so depressing by yourself, but, they make it possible to where I don’t have to be.”
Another guest, Randall Ragan from Chewalla, Tenn., explained why he was also so supportive of this event and the ministry of the Wilson family.
“Early this year I decided to go the the Home of Grace down in Vancleave, Miss., and get a little help from them for an addiction that has had me bound for years,” said Ragan. “Being here is just another step. This is an awesome place and a place where you feel God and his love.”
State Rep. Nick Bain of Corinth was on hand to show his support for such a worthy cause.
“I had Christmas with my family this morning and then came out here to enjoy this time of fellowship,” Bain said. “I have been Tommy’s attorney for the board for about three years and have come to know him better through this ministry. I have a deep appreciation for what he does and just wanted to be apart of it.”
Being apart of it was the pulling force being the day’s event. Everyone who was on hand, either for volunteering, fellowship or whatever their reason — all agreed that being able to spend quality time with folks who care for one another was priceless.
Published December 25, 2013 by Steve Beavers for the Daily Corinthian