A Magical Experience – Volunteering at the Salvation Army Community Christmas Dinner

Vice Chair of MCIS Language Solutions Shash Anand with his lovely family at the Salvation Army Community Christmas Dinner

by: Shash Anand, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of MCIS Language Solutions

“What a magical experience I had volunteering during the Annual Community Christmas Dinner at the Salvation Army!”

“Last year I joined the MCIS team and helped prepare and serve Christmas Dinner to over 50 people. It was such a wonderful experience seeing the smiling faces and serving the community that I made sure to come back again this year with MCIS and bring my family along with me.  

I was very curious to see how my kids would react as this was the first time ever they had an opportunity to volunteer in this manner. The MCIS team led by Deanna and Sarah welcomed all of us with open arms and made everyone feel right at home immediately when we arrived. We also met some new MCIS faces as well, like Alanna who was just awesome with a big smile on her face all the time!

Vice Chair Shash Anand with his family, now busy in the kitchen!

We started off helping to prepare a few side dishes, such as the salad, stuffing, bread buns and then placing various items on the tables. Then, just prior to serving dinner, my wife and two sons, age 7 and 10, and I, went upstairs where some people were waiting till the festivities started. We were asked to keep them entertained. Not knowing what to expect, my wife started to play charades with some of the kids that had arrived. As the crowd got bigger, even more folks joined in. And, not long after, the entire room was playing with us guessing, laughing out loud and I couldn’t believe 30 minutes had just flown by! It was heartwarming to see everyone from young kids to older adults participating.

MCIS staff Alanna, Deanna and Sara, grinning with warmth and joy at the annual community dinner of the Salvation Army

Deanna also participated in some funny (a.k.a. dry) Christmas jokes before everyone started the wonderful feast.

I was most impressed with how organized the entire event was, (mainly due to Monica and her positive vibe!) and also the number of MCIS volunteers and other volunteers that came out to help. We all got along so well and everyone played their part. We were all joking around like we’ve known each other for a while, when it was really only an hour or two 🙂 We heard a lot of please and thank-you’s, saw so many smiling faces while serving the community and they were very appreciative of all the hard work that was put into providing a hot meal.

Overall, the evening was made even more special for me, since my two sons were wholeheartedly participating and assisting in setting the tables, serving the meals and asking everyone if they wanted any second helpings. They also cleaned up after everyone was gone.  It was wonderful to see them giving back to the community so actively and willingly.

What a lovely group of volunteers!

Sayan, age 10, said it felt really good to serve the meals to everyone and also to enjoy a left over piece of cherry pie! Samay, age 7, says his favourite part of the evening was serving the meals as well as the extra candy canes to everyone! My wife enjoyed charades the most!

I’m happy and very proud to be part of the MCIS team who always have a focus on Social Responsibility. Thank you for including my entire family into this magical experience.

Looking forward to participating again soon!”

Shash
MCIS Board Member, Vice Chair

(Look for a future blog post on the morning’s activities at the Salvation Army, where other MCIS volunteers helped to hand out toys to 60+ familities!)