Skip to main content

Welcoming Wingard Home Residents to Mississippi College for a Christmas Dinner

Santa Claus caps off Mississippi College's Christmas dinner welcome to Wingard Home kids. Photo by Barbara Gauntt
Santa Claus caps off Mississippi College's Christmas dinner welcome to Wingard Home kids. Photo by Barbara Gauntt

The Christmas holidays will shine bright for needy children and families from Jackson’s Wingard Home.

Leaders of Mississippi College’s Art Department and students will help the visitors celebrate the holiday season with a festive dinner December 2. The doors open 6 p.m. Tuesday at Anderson Hall.

The activity on the Clinton campus will feature an appearance once again by Randy Jolly. The director of MC’s Gore Gallery, Jolly relishes playing the jovial man in a red and white Santa costume. He began serving in this role in the window of a Vicksburg department store in the early 1980s.

“I just love playing Santa and it makes me realize how lucky my family and I are,” says the MC art instructor. “It’s always a joy.”

Christmas dinners supplied by Campus Dining, Mississippi College’s food service provider, are a popular tradition at the Christian university. The event dates back more than a decade ago.

The venue will be decorated for the occasion. Students with Kappa Pi, the international art honorary organization, will dress up and serve the delicious meals to the visitors. For more than 100 years, Kappa Pi has offered thousands of art students and professionals a group to call home.

The Christmas dinners combine with a shower of fantastic gifts for young kids visiting the university. Each year, the event supplies the perfect recipe for an awesome experience at Mississippi College, says Charlotte Wingard, the ministry’s co-director. Holiday music and the reading of Scriptures will add to the mix Tuesday evening.

Founded in 1990, the Wingard Home is a Christian ministry that houses more than 60 homeless Mississippians year-round and serves their spiritual needs.

Leaders of the modest residence at 1279 North West Street refer to their home as an oasis in the desert for abandoned, lost, hurting and abused people. The residence relies on donations to pay for utility bills and other costs to keep the ministry alive. The Wingard Home provides clothing, job, medical and social service referrals as well as transportation.

Once homeless in Atlanta, Charlotte Wingard and her husband, Roy, moved to Mississippi’s capital city and founded the Christian ministry nearly three decades ago.

Retired art professor Michael Hataway of Raymond launched the Wingard Home Christmas at Mississippi College.

People interested in serving as volunteers should contact Randy Jolly at 601-925-3880 or