Local News

Durham Rescue Mission serves holiday meal to thousands

Posted December 23, 2014

— 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.


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  • babylaceycarpenter Dec 23, 2014

    If you see someone on the corner in this weather, you know they are dedicated, so you would tend to believe they are the ones actually trying to get their lives turned around.

  • fanoflogic Dec 23, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Thank you for using this nice story to post about your personal and political agenda. That's very big of you.

  • fanoflogic Dec 23, 2014

    This is really wonderful. I'm so glad there are places out there to help people less fortunate than others. Tis the season!

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 23, 2014

    Imagine how many people they could feed if they went vegetarian.

    Humans have not need for animal parts...in fact, we're healthier without them. (says this 25+ vegetarian)

    It's also a kinder and gentler way of life...more in line with love and care.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 23, 2014

    This group used to post how much they help they provided in dollars. They used say they paid $7 for lunch and $9 for dinner. Those numbers have since been removed from their website. Wonder why...

  • Tim Pearce Dec 23, 2014
    user avatar

    I'm hungy now...

  • simplylindsey2010 Dec 23, 2014

    "I've been to these, the people they help don't even come to help prepare the food or even clean up afterwords. Thet come, they take, they leave."

    When giving charity there should not be expectations of the receipients.

  • lopo Dec 23, 2014

    I've been to these, the people they help don't even come to help prepare the food or even clean up afterwords. Thet come, they take, they leave.

  • fifefan4life Dec 23, 2014

    The Durham Rescue Mission and the Raleigh Rescue Mission are both great ministries. May God bless their work.

  • BigBrokeBill Dec 23, 2014

    Fur coats? You wear what your given, I guess, and didn't we go through a phase where we were throwing away anything with fur on it (save the critters)? The Durham Rescue Mission is a great organization and I commend them for all their hard work and their charity!