The holiday season is a time for fun, excitement, and happiness. For some people, the holidays can be a rough time of year, but the Muscatine Center for Social Action does its part to make the holidays a little brighter.

Bonnie Nichols of MCSA said, “The holidays can be an added stress, especially for those struggling with money, housing, a mental illness, and/or a broken relationship with their family. We do our best at MCSA to help folks have a good holiday.”

During the recent Thanksgiving holiday, volunteers came and served a Thanksgiving feast to the guests and residents of MCSA. Nichols said, “Numerous guests and tenants worked together to cook their own ‘family style’ meal. They do a great job taking care and looking out for each other.”

In preparation for Christmas, guests helped decorate Christmas trees. Last year, Monsanto invited Santa and Mrs. Claus to stop by and volunteer Cindy Allchin took photos. Monsanto employees served up a delicious meal and provided gifts as well.

The Christmas day dinner is coordinated by Mary Louise Caponette and her group of volunteers. “Mary Louise has been serving meals to our community for 25 years at MCSA. We don’t know what we would do without her!” said Nichols.

MCSA makes sure all residents receive gifts during the holidays. Gifts are usually necessities such as clothes, blankets, and toiletries.

Outside of the scheduled celebrations, the guests often celebrate on their own. Nichols said, “Some of our guests and tenants get together with their family during the holidays. Others make their own family gathering with their new MCSA friends/family. Guests and tenants are welcome to use our kitchen to cook/bake their favorite things, and they are typically excited to share and showcase their culinary skills with others.”

There are many ways to help MCSA during the holiday season. Mary Louise will be looking for volunteers to bake Christmas cookies for the Christmas dinner. She can be reached at (563) 262-5089. Individuals, groups, or businesses can sponsor families or single residents of MCSA. Volunteers can also share their time in many ways. Contact MCSA to see how to help. MCSA is located at 312 Iowa Ave. in Muscatine and their phone number is (563) 264-3278. Nichols said, “We have a lot of options for anyone wanting to spread some holiday cheer.”