Odessa Restaurant Gives a Home to Residents on Christmas

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The world doesn't stop during the holidays, and those that fill essential jobs still have to report to work, but often that work can be just as rewarding as the holiday itself.

The holidays are a time for you and yours to get together. But there are those who don't have a family or a place to go during the holiday season or maybe they would just like a place to go.

"We don't really like to cook during the holidays so we'd rather go out to eat," Odessa Resident, Ivan Vasquez, said.

For Furr's Family Dining in Odessa, that's a void they intend to fill.

They've traditionally been open on both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, giving West Texans who need it that safe haven this season.

"Some of these people, they don't have a whole lot of family here in town," Furr's Assistant Manager, Michelle Rimmer, said. "And so they have another way of spending their Christmas or their Thanksgiving holidays. They come and spend it here."

And spend it they do.

Even up until closing time on Christmas Day, the place was packed with people enjoying all the food they can eat and a warm place for conversation and celebration.

Even past employees from other Furr's locations acknowledge the way it keeps the Christmas spirit.

"I can't believe it's still like this, it hasn't changed at all," Millie Hunter, who had been employed at a Furr's in Hobbs when she was 17, said. "Like a nice home, family atmosphere and they treat you good and stuff."

When the focus of the employees could be on their hard work sacrificing their Christmas Day, it was mostly placed on the happiness their service brings people.

"It makes me actually feel good because at least somebody's gonna get fed," Furr's Cook Sammy Lewis, said. "A lot of people don't do traditionally home-cooked meals anymore. Somebody has to be open. Somebody has to serve. That's what makes us come back to work every day to see them happy to see us."

"A lot of people, they don't have families," Rimmer said. "So we open up our doors so that they can come in and spend their Christmas or Thanksgiving here."

There was hardly a sad face leaving Furr's while NewsWest 9 was there. Many thought this gesture was a sign of the great hospitality and service seen in the Basin.