Every holiday season, hundreds of members of Bellingham’s homeless community lineup outside Little Cheerful, a restaurant off of East Holly Street. Rain or shine, those waiting will be served a warm restaurant-style meal.
Following Thanksgiving, Little Cheerful will be hosting a dinner and dessert for those in need every Monday night, from 6-7 p.m., until the end of December.
Paige Walker, manager of Little Cheerful, said most Mondays over 100 people show up in the rain to get their meal, as volunteers bring people warm drinks while they wait.
“We see families with children as well as individuals. There is a big age range [of people coming in],” Walker said.
A few years ago, a former manager had the idea of hosting a meal for homeless people in the area, because they saw a need for it throughout Bellingham. Since then, Little Cheerful has kept the tradition going every year.
“Just because someone is broke does not mean that they shouldn’t be treated with dignity.”
When the idea was first being created, Little Cheerful paid for all the expenses of the meals. Now other businesses and communities like Avenue Bread, Rocket Donuts, J.J.’s and the Bellingham Food Bank have gotten involved with donating food, money and time to the event.
Walker feels giving back to the community is really important during the holiday season.
“Just because someone is broke does not mean that they shouldn’t be treated with dignity,” Walker said. “We can always find things that need to be done. It’s a lot of fun. We have a great time, we laugh, we make wonderful food, there is music playing and everyone gets treated wonderfully.”
Little Cheerful only takes cash, but has an ATM available. For the duration of the event, all surcharges from the ATM will go to the soup kitchen as well.
Members of the community can show up on Monday nights to donate food and clothes, which will be distributed to the homeless on Monday nights.