POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - The Pocatello community felt the Christmas spirit on Sunday.
The Chubbuck Lions Club held a Special Needs Christmas Drive-Thru at the Red Lion Hotel. Traditionally, the club holds a Christmas dinner every year for the special needs community, but due to COVID-19, the dinner could not take place.
That didn't stop event organizer Daniel Parrish from finding a way to make this happen.
"These people, these amazing members of our community, I've grown up with them, Parrish said. "They're my friends. The idea of not doing something for them this year just wasn't an option for us."
Volunteers handed out food, treats, and Christmas gifts to the families. To make the process more efficient, the Lions Club divided the drive-thru into two separate lanes.
Disney princesses, Buddy the Elf, and even multiple Santa Clauses even made an appearance in each lane.
For volunteers like Joel and Hadli Shokes, the event gave them the opportunity to give back to the community in a way that was both fun and gratifying.
"This year has been so hard, and so I think us not canceling the dinner and doing something maybe a little bit more creative is really lifting a lot of people’s spirits," Hadli Shokes said. "I know that it’s something I look forward to every Christmas to help out with this, because a lot of people rely on this dinner every single year as part of one of their Christmas meals."
"It’s such a big event for those in our community who are less fortunate, and who deal with a lot of special needs," Joel Shokes. "We often get wrapped up in our own worlds and so for this, it's wonderful to be out here today to give that service to them, and thank them for all that they do."
Parrish also said that being able to help those in need may be his favorite gift of the holiday season.
"To see the support of this community and all of the people that have come together to make this happen and allow me to be here," Parrish said. "To see my friends, and for each of us to serve and give. I don't know how you can ask for a better Christmas present than that."
The Chubbuck Lions Club is a part of Lions Clubs International, which is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.