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Volunteers return year after year for lift from rescue mission's Easter event

Posted March 25

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— The prep work for Easter dinner began on Thursday evening with 750 pounds of pork.

A full night of cooking – and working – later, event workers chopped up the barbecue, distributed 10,000 clothing items and fed thousands at the Durham Rescue Mission's annual Easter meal on Friday.

"I'm doing it because it's a great thing to help the community, and I get a thrill out of seeing the kids with a big smile on their faces," said Shirley Carter.

Chester Rives said he sees some of the same volunteers year after year. Angie Reid is one of those regulars.

"I've been doing it at least seven years, she said. "As long as I'm living, I will do this."

The mission's community dinner is held each year to feed and clothe families. At the event, volunteers dished out food while kids ate, played carnival-style games and received Easter baskets.

"My whole life's ministry is to help those who really have nothing," said Ernie Mills, co-founder of the mission, who has been putting on the event with his wife for 41 years.

"My job is to work myself out of a job," he said. "But it seems like, every year, the more word gets out the more people come. It would be nice not to have to do it, but there's a great need."

Beginning at noon, the Durham Rescue Mission served the pork barbecue, more than 2,000 hot dogs, 200 pounds of potato salad, 200 pounds of slaw and 2,000 desserts.

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