'It's been amazing' says Penticton woman of community response to Christmas dinner invite | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'It's been amazing' says Penticton woman of community response to Christmas dinner invite

Ashley Fagan, Matthew Smethurst along with their kids Julia and Kai will be hosting a big Christmas dinner.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ashley Fagan

Ashley Fagan’s offer to open her doors to anybody who wants a Christmas dinner in a family environment has sparked something even she’s surprised by.

“It's amazing, the love that’s spreading and the help from the community (for) making this happen (and) to help feed as many as possible,” she said.

Gifts of turkeys, baking, money and even soap have rolled in since she made the offer for anyone who was alone or without a place to go on Christmas to come by her home.

As the generosity from the community has grown so too has the list of people that are planning to swing by her Penticton home.

Thus far, 32 people are expected and she said she can "guarantee" there will be more.

"I am just extremely busy over the next couple days (with) prepping and cooking and kids," she said.

While the takeaway has been largely positive, Fagan has also been online quelling concerns from people who have questioned her judgment.

Over and over again, though, she said she believes in what she's doing and that the kindness she's extending will be returned.

Her initial offer was made in the first week of December.

“Our family is opening up our home on Christmas day for a hot meal and a warm place to eat it. Our treat. We might not have much but we will welcome you with open arms with our friends and family,” Fagan posted online at the time.

“(You) must love animals and kids, of course, but (I'd) like to offer anyone in need a lovely Christmas environment with love and music...let me know if you like to be a part of it.”

At the time, Fagan said that the offer was  "nothing, really."

“I like to help people when I can... I don't think people should be alone or hungry especially on Christmas,” she said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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