The Collingwood Christmas Day Feast Returns
After a three-year hiatus, around one hundred volunteers in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, return to provide their services at the 8th annual Collingwood Christmas Day Feast.
Starting in 2014, the Feast Organizing Committee, a.k.a. “The Elves,” invites Collingwood residents to a sit-down Christmas meal complete with music, gifts, and even a surprise visit from Santa Claus himself.
“There are many community dinners that happen in our area, but none that actually happen on Christmas Day,” says Logistics Chair Sue Bragg. “We basically bring together people that might be on their own, or that are older, or simply can’t afford to put together a Christmas dinner for themselves.”
A Growing Guest List Requires Santa-Level Planning
For their triumphant return, the committee secured a larger venue than in past years in order to host around 230 dinner guests.
For those who require transportation to and from the event, The Elves organize a shuttle to pick up hungry guests from their homes and later drop off full ones. The shuttle also runs a special route to deliver dinner to those who cannot attend in person.
With the growing guest list, the twenty-seat shuttle takes multiple trips to retrieve guests and deliver meals.
A Yearly Visit From Route4Me Ensures Smooth Operations
In order to boost organization and optimize cheer, Route4Me donates route planning services for the Christmas Day Feast every year.
“I use [Route4Me] to figure out the ideal route,” says Sue. “It gives us an estimate of how long it’s going to be, and it just makes things run so much smoother.”
During the week leading up to the feast, Sue confirms addresses with residents and enters the information into Route4Me. The software provides the driver with an optimal route and ETAs so residents know exactly when to expect the shuttle to arrive.
After the successful return of the Christmas Day Feast, residents of Collingwood can rest assured that every year Frank the Driver, in a Santa hat and a wreath-clad shuttle, will be there to pick them up and spread some holiday cheer.