Growing up in poverty in Oklahoma City, James Jones and his family would join others in need at the annual Red Andrews Christmas Dinner.
Now his life has come full circle.
A purchasing manager for a Norman company, Jones, 63, continues to show up every year — but now to help others.
He can be found at the dinner doing everything from serving food to taking out the trash, never forgetting his roots and what the dinner meant to him as a child.
Back then it never occurred to him that his family participated out of need. He just felt special. “There must have been a hundred kids, and I thought it was pretty special that we were invited to this,” Jones said. “Out of all the kids in Oklahoma City, we were there.”
Jones recalled the excitement he felt gathering around with the other children, waiting to receive a donated gift. To this day, after more than 60 years of holding the event, every child who attends receives a Christmas present.
If you go
The Red Andrews Christmas Dinner will begin at 8 a.m. Christmas Day at the Cox Convention Center. The dinner will continue until everyone is served, generally around 3 p.m. and is open to all in need.
Those interested in volunteering, or donating toys or money can email redandrews