Forrest City woman organizes Christmas meals for community

FORREST CITY, Ark. — A 26-year-old Forrest City mother is giving back this Christmas.

She recognized not everyone is lucky enough to spend Christmas with loved ones or have a warm meal.

WREG was there at the lunch hour as volunteers rapidly wrapped hot dogs and laid out chips.

It was one of the three meals Keiona Jones organized for her community in Forrest City at a rented room off Izard Street.

She teared up seeing the joy her hard work brings others.

"I'm emotional but I'm happy," said Jones.

Anyone was welcome to come play a game, watch TV, socialize and enjoy a free breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast was an assortment of pastries and juices, while dinner was a traditional turkey dinner.

The 26-year-old single mother, rented out the space herself. She started organizing, collecting donations about three weeks ago.

"This year I wanted to do something that was kinda different. Every year I usually give away my sons toys and old clothes and I wanted to do something that was different and give back to my community."

Her friend Latrice Williams served as a sponsor.

"When she put it on Facebook I was like,  'Oh wait a minute, that's a good thing!' We all think about it but we don't do it. She put it into action. When she put it into motion, 'I'm like hey I'm here,'" Williams exclaimed.

So the two women put their heads together to help their city.

"I know what it's like to be ripped away from everything you love and your loved ones. I've never been homeless and I've never been without but I know what it's like so I wanted to make a difference in someone else's day to day besides my sons," explained Jones.

Naomi Fonclera, from the Philippines, is teaching second grade in Forrest City.

She said being at Jones' event gives her and fellow teachers a place to enjoy the holiday together.

"Since we are far away from our families this is our way to spend our Christmas here in the United States," explained Fonclera.

As we look ahead to the new year, maybe you can't host a large meal but Jones challenges you to find a way to make a difference in your area.

" Don't forget where you came from and don't forget about the people that have not made it where you are. "