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KOKOMO, Ind. – Two days before Christmas, urgency is in the air at Carpenters House Church.

The urgency is not only to feed hundreds of people come Christmas Day but to make sure there’s enough volunteers and food to do so, especially since it’s the first year without the event’s longtime founder and organizer at the helm.

“It’s a lot more than I expected,” Mark McClure said, a volunteer whose family has helped take the lead this year. “It’s pretty busy.”

The annual Favors Christmas Dinner has been well documented, the Dec. 25th tradition that Judy Favors and her husband started inside their home two decades ago, a Christmas Day dinner that’s expanded to the church alongside the hundreds of home deliveries already scheduled for Sunday.

Favors officially stepped down as organizer last year.

“A lot of things have changed this year because she’s not able to do all the things she used to do,” Kennith Cockrell said, a longtime volunteer and cook. “The one that’s really breaking my heart – we used to have a gift room up front, and when they’d get done eating, they were able to go in that gift room and pick out a gift.

“But because her health didn’t allow her to do that this year, there’s gonna be a lot of people that will come through Sunday and won’t be able to have a gift. And it just breaks my heart, but things change.”

What won’t change, volunteers like Cockrell and Mcclure promise, is the meal and fellowship that feeds so many people Christmas Day.

“It’s a blessing to bless others,” McClure said. “It really is.”

Some prayers, though, still need answering.

About a dozen volunteers are still needed for in-home delivers and organizers are still in desperate need of desserts.

To sign up to volunteer, or schedule a time to drop of dessert, call 765-457-3853.

The annual dinner begins at 1 p.m. Sunday at Carpenters House Church. The meal is free and open to the public. No RSVP is needed.