Let's Stand Together community dinner set in Cuero
Nov. 18, 2011 at 5:18 a.m.
Updated Nov. 20, 2011 at 5:20 a.m.
CUERO - Carolina "Carrie" Ruiz didn't want anyone to be hungry or alone for the holidays.
She didn't have the financial means to feed everyone, but she had the heart and faith to help the community.
"God's going to supply. All we need to do is take the initiative," she said. When people asked Ruiz how she will pull everything together, she pointed to heaven.
Since her death in 2007, her family has kept her quest alive.
Her granddaughter, Isabel Patton, has stepped up to the plate to continue the tradition with the 17th annual Let's Stand Together dinner at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church hall from noon to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.
On the menu is the traditional meal of turkey, candied yams and all the trimmings.
Ruiz's son, David Ruiz, said his mother would invite people to her house to feed them. The concept blossomed into a townwide initiative.
"It's a community effort," he said.
Ruiz, the chairman of preparations, said volunteers will start decorating the hall and preparing the food.
Crossroads residents and travelers alike can enjoy the meal and fellowship. "It's open to anyone who walks in the door," he said.
Josie Martinez, the program's treasurer, said about 1,000 people have attended in previous years. Martinez, who has been involved with the program for the past five years, said the fellowship experience is just as important as the food.
"There are a lot of people who don't have a meal to eat, or people to eat with," she said.
The plates will be served for dine-in purposes, but volunteers will deliver to home-bound people.
Martinez said she is optimistic about the growth.
"We hope it gets bigger every year," she said.