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During this past December, the soup kitchen at St. Mary’s Caring and the people we serve were the recipients of some very unique and welcome gestures of love and support.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, members of Young Adult Ministries of Southern Maryland spent about five hours in our parking lot winterizing the vehicles of anyone who needed that service. They helped ensure that more than two dozen cars, trucks, etc. would make it through the upcoming frigid months, free of charge. Many thanks to organizers Dave Smith, Nate Cross and their team; Nicole Diaz, Tim Wenzler, David Replogle, Allison Palmer, Jen Posa, Elizabeth Fahrner, Tradd Stevens, David Green, Lauren Ramsay, Ron O’Malley, Mina Khalil and Stu Oberg. What a gift.

Then, about a week before Christmas, Nancy Easterling, the executive director of Historic Sotterley, arrived with staff members Kim Husick, Kim Tune, Arleen Strider, Kathy Rodman and Jeanne Pirtle. They brought crates and boxes of garlands, ribbons, wreaths, ornaments and a tree. When they were done, our building both inside and out looked as beautiful and festive as any five-star restaurant in the mid-Atlantic. There’s no way to adequately describe the delight that it brought to our guests and volunteers.

On Christmas Eve, members of Faith Bible Church, led by Debbie Tucker, served a sumptuous holiday meal. She was ably assisted by many church members, including our volunteer, Mary Townsend, as well as our own assistant director, Henry Briscoe. For a couple of hours, the whole place was buzzing with excitement and enjoyment. I know everyone who came felt very blessed.

Finally, on Christmas Day, Rob Plant of Blue Wind Gourmet prepared and served a spectacular dinner for up to 150 people. Rob and members of his staff were organized to serve food for three hours, giving everyone ample time and opportunity to enjoy the feast. In addition to his staff, invaluable assistance was given by faithful soup kitchen volunteers Rich and Grace Fuller along with the Paul and Debbie Waxman family, Kim Husick, Amy Fisher, Jean Wu and the Whitson/Erwin family.

The gratitude that everyone feels for all of these efforts and sacrifices of time and talent is unbounded and only reinforces what we all know. There is no more caring community than in St. Mary’s County.

Dana McGarity, Lexington Park

The writer is president of St. Mary’s Caring.