The NOEL community was organized as a community wide event hosted by St. Paul’s By-The-Sea to provide food and companionship on Christmas Day in 1997. This tradition has continued every year since serving free home cooked dinners and providing toys and gifts. With spiritual leadership from Father David Dingwall and Father Carl Mosley (of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bridgeville Delaware), the NOEL Community has support from churches in Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and Berlin. The NOEL community appreciates the generosity from individuals, places of worship, businesses, and civic groups allowing us to make the Christmas celebration special for many in our community who otherwise would be lonely or hungry.
Annualy over 2000 free meals are provided on Christmas Day. We serve the homeless, shut-in, unemployed, underemployed, lonely, and elderly. We prepare hot meals for police officers, fire personnel, and other public servants working on Christmas Day. Dewees Hall is beautifully decorated. We have music, entertainment, and a visit from Santa Claus. In addition to the meals served at St. Paul’s by-the Sea church, we provide carryouts or deliveries.
Over 60 businesses make donations of turkey, ham and all the trimmings.
Over 125 individuals and businesses donate funds to purchase supplies and gifts.
Over 50 hotels, restaurants, businesses and individuals donate toys.
Over 50 businesses and individuals donate toiletries and non-perishable canned goods.
Over 100 volunteers organize, plan, prepare, cooke, serve and clean.
In addition to the Christmas Day feast, NOEL prepares lunches every Saturday throughout the year. They are currently offered as carry-outs through the Shepherd’s Crook at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea. Annually over 7000 additional meals/sandwiches are provided.
The NOEL Community, with the help of the Roman Catholic churches and the Worcester County Libraries, host the annual gLOVEs drive in late January and early February in order to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Hundreds of items are collected for distribution by Shepherd’s Crook and other groups in our community.
This is only a portion of what this amazing group does and we are proud to support them. Patricia Mulcahy is our Parish Liaison to the NOEL Community.