It may be the area’s largest Christmas Day dinner.

On Christmas Day, the Without Walls Ministry will serve hundreds of families Christmas dinner, and give out toys for the children, warm blankets, bicycles and anything that has been donated until the resources run out at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

The event is so big that it needs 500 volunteers just to help serve food and give out presents, and it brings great joy to those who otherwise might not be able to afford any.

The “Birthday Party for Jesus” truly brings out the best in a lot of people, says organizer Gordon Cashwell.

To my mind, this is truly one of those great community events, because it goes on, rain or shine, and it brings all kinds of people together.

Cashwell says that they are in need of volunteers, churches and other organizations to cook and serve the food, and of course, all kinds of gifts for the kids.

It’s the 13th year that this ministry has done a giveaway, but only the second one on this large of a scale and that involves the whole community.

Think of volunteering food, warmth and love after you’ve played with presents and after your Christmas lunch.

Right now, the ministry is looking for donations from anyone, including area businesses, churches and community organizations.

Think new or gently used bicycles in great working order, new coats of any size, toys, blankets, a hot pan of macaroni and cheese. After donating something, you can hang around to help and see the joy on people’s faces.

This is a grassroots organization, and this will be the second year in the stadium. Last year, about 2,000 meals were served.

You can sign up to help on

This year, Gordon Cashwell says that he’s hoping that various churches might sign up to do the food so that one church makes some turkeys while another makes the dressing. It’s a way to spread the wealth around and ensure that everyone has something to eat.

What is nice about this “Birthday Party for Jesus” is that no one will be turned away and no one has to be qualified to receive a gift. The volunteers just serve until the food and gifts run out, which is usually about 1 p.m.

If you think that you might like to be part of this special birthday party but can’t be there on Christmas Day, you can drop off donations 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 655 King St.

Or you can bring them to the stadium on Christmas Day to share in the joy.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at or 937-5557.