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Impact Christian Church Hosts 'Operation Hope' Dinner

A Moon Township church hopes to make the Christmas season brighter for local families in need.

Moon Township's Impact Christian Church will bring Christmas a few weeks early to members of the community in need at its first "Operation Hope" dinner on Saturday.

"We'll have turkey, ham, stuffing, pie, sort of everything you would have for a Thanksgiving dinner," said student ministry coordinator Zach Shidemantle. 

Church volunteers have spent recent weeks reaching out to area food pantries, clinics and other organizations to spread the word of the event. 

Shidemantle said last Christmas season, the church worked with the nonprofit Light of Life, sponsoring a clinic for the homeless in downtown Pittsburgh.

This year, the church wanted to make it's mark closer to home, he said.

"There are people in Moon struggling to put a meal together," Shidemantle said. "And the job of the church is to take care of the community around it." 

More than 50 volunteers will cook and serve the meal, which takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the church's Thorn Run Road location. 

"We are really, really blessed that people have given money or signed up to donate certain foods," Shidemantle said. "Some people signed up to donate a turkey or make potatoes. So it's all volunteers."  

Attendees at the event will also be able to receive some donated items, ranging from coats to toiletries. 

Shidemantle said the group has been preparing for as many as 300 people at the event. 

"You just never know," he said. "It could be 50 people. It could be 400 people." 

For more on donating for volunteering, visit Impact Christian Church's website. Donations for the event should be submitted by Thursday, Shidemantle said.

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