Durham Rescue Mission serves holiday meal to thousands
Posted December 23, 2014
Durham, N.C. — Thousands of people lined up Tuesday for food, clothing and toys at the Durham Rescue Mission's annual Christmas community gathering.
More than 200 turkeys were served and about 5,400 donated toys were given away during the event that has become an integral part of the holidays. About 12,000 pieces of donated clothing also were handed out to needy area families, and some of the 445 volunteers who put together the event prepared 1,450 food bags to give away.
More than 2,800 people attended the event.
"We're hoping to hand out three toys for each child," Durham Rescue Mission co-founder and Chief Executive Ernie Mills said.
Mills said the event has grown tremendously through the years.
"As the community realized what we were doing, more and more people wanted to take part," he said. "More needy people heard about it, so it kept growing.
On Wednesday, the Durham Rescue Mission will host a brunch for homeless women and children in one of its shelters, and it will host a Christmas breakfast for homeless men in another shelter on Thursday.
The Christmas meal is one of four events hosted by the faith-based mission each year and draws hundreds of homeless and working poor seeking food, groceries and free clothing. The other events are held at Easter, Thanksgiving and the start of the school year.