Family inspired to dish out dinners

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo J’Mi Heflin, left, talks to Christy Drake Thursday about paper goods Heflin and her family brought Drake. Heflin and her family used money they would have spent on each other for Christmas to buy dinners for 10 families in Clovis.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Helping her mother move into a new house in Austin, Texas, during the summer reinforced a revelation J’mi Heflin had last year before Christmas.

“We have too much stuff,” Heflin said.

Her mother, JoBeth Broadhurst, agreed. Last year, the two used the money they would have spent on each other to buy four Christmas dinners for less fortunate families in Clovis and Portales.

“Going into their homes, you wouldn’t have known it was Christmas,” Broadhurst said. “There wasn’t an ornament nor a tree nor a package. They were so thankful. It humbles you. You see that you have so much extra in your life.”

Heflin and Broadhurst shared with their family what they did and they all decided they have too much.

Heflin’s grandmother, June Brummett, aunt, Devi Thomas, and cousin, Dawn Smith, joined in this year.

The group delivered 10 Christmas dinners to as many families in Clovis on Christmas eve. Each dinner included a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, homestyle gravy, rolls, a pie and salad.

Heflin, a teacher at Portales Junior High School, grew up in Clovis and has taught at two Clovis elementary schools. She and her sister pooled their resources and got a list together.

“This is one of those experiences where you want everyone to see the power of giving,” Heflin said.

Brummett decided to expand and give each family a basket of paper goods.

“It was nice of my nanny to think of that,” Helfin said. “There’s never enough of that.”

Heflin said providing 10 dinners will cost each woman $110.

“That’s less than we would have spent getting five people Christmas presents anyway, “ Heflin said. “It’s just stuff. We’re giving them a meal. They can sit down and share with family during such an important time of year.”

Broadhurst, who lived in Clovis before moving to Texas 11 years ago, flew in this week to help with deliveries.

“It’s such a blessing to give to someone without expecting anything in return,” she said. “Giving Christmas dinner shows your love more than a pair of socks or a toy.”