A Turkish restaurant owned by a Muslim owner in London, England, will be serving free meals to the homeless and elderly come Christmas Day.
Three course meals will be served because owner Serdar Kigili knows that nobody should ever eat alone on Christmas Day. Kigili recently decided to offer the free meals to people in need after experiencing an encounter with a woman who needed help in closing her window.
The name of the restaurant serving the holiday meals is Shish. Shish is located just outside of London. Sometime in early November, owner Kigili noticed that an elderly woman who resides in the neighborhood of where his restaurant is located entered the restaurant to ask for help. She was having difficulty reaching her window so she could close it.
The staff at hand at Shish immediately sprang into action and helped her. However, the next day, when she returned to the restaurant to say thank you, the woman informed the staff that she would be alone on Christmas.
The old woman’s situation reminded Kigili of his mother. She resides in Turkey and he hadn’t seen her in five years. After hearing the woman’s story, the restaurant management team decided to create a plan to ensure that no one would have to spend Christmas Day alone.
Initially, the team posted a handwritten note on the front window of the restaurant that read: “No one eats alone on Christmas Day! We are here to sit with you. 3 course meal for the homeless from 12 – 6 pm. Any homeless or elderly are welcomed.”
The note was posted on the restaurant’s official Facebook page. At this point, the post has been shared over 1,000 times. This inspired over 25 residents to volunteer by helping out at the restaurant on Christmas Day. In addition, several taxi drivers in the neighborhood also volunteered to drive homeless and elderly individuals to and from the restaurant, free of charge.
One of the restaurant managers, Irfan Can Genc, stated that it’s all about community.
Shish seats around 66 and will be open for the entire day. To start, it will serve soup and cacik, a dip made of yogurt and chicken, and a choice of vegetarian casserole or chicken shish. Rice pudding will be served for dessert.
Genc stated that he has hopes that the restaurant will set an example for the entire community and that other establishments will get into the spirit of giving during the holiday.