Local News

Durham Rescue Mission feeds thousands at annual Christmas dinner

Posted December 23, 2015

Despite heavy rains that have impacted holiday travel, there is a place in Durham that's filled with Christmas cheer.

The Durham Rescue Mission served more than 1,800 Christmas meals to people on Wednesday and handed out toys to lots of happy children.

The charity has hosted this Christmas dinner for the community for more than 10 years. But the dinner is not just about food: Hundreds of volunteers give away bundles of toys, and families can also shop for clothes and other household necessities.

Yoland Hodge, a mother of two who lives in Durham, was appreciative of the Durham Rescue Mission's work.

“It means a lot because I actually lost my job on October 6 – so being these two months without income coming, it’s kind of hard," Hodge said. "So the Rescue Mission really does help out."

Dinner was served, heedless of the wind and weather.

Armed with umbrellas and ponchos, the crowds lined up beneath tents to get their hot Christmas meals. Nothing – not even a relentless rain – could drown out the spirit of the Durham tradition.

"I think it's really important because it's about how God helps us and everything – and I think that's good," said 9-year-old Antone Hannah.

Volunteers began preparing the feast in the wee hours of the morning: 175 turkeys and 75 hams to feed a grateful multitude.

The servers dished it all out – and if the rain is an inconvenience, nobody is complaining about it.

Volunteers gave away:

- 5,374 toys

- 1,820 meals

- 820 bags of groceries

- 7,500 articles of winter clothes


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  • Andrew Tauber Dec 23, 2015
    user avatar

    BigWilie (I can't believe I just typed that), Your "liberals" comment doesn't really make much sense, so I am going to try and address it here, but I just wanted to let you know there are many liberals (myself included) who support the Durham Rescue Mission. Perhaps, in the spirit of the season, we could try to eke out at least one social media comment without a snarky bit about people who simply don't agree with you about everything.

    Have a happy holiday!

  • BigWillie Johnson Dec 23, 2015
    user avatar

    These people are one of the best Rescue Missions I have seen in the US. They get it, convert an old motel into housing, feed the people and get them to forego the two problems that help made them homeless in the 1st place alcohol and drugs. Christian actions, learn it, live it, love it:) But I know, (liberals like to take the exception and broad brush the generality and make it the rule), not all homeless have alcohol or drug problems, and not all participating are homeless. Durham Rescue is one of the few charities I give to.