Local News

Durham Rescue Mission feeds thousands at annual holiday feast

Posted December 22, 2017 6:57 p.m. EST

— For some, the holidays are a time of togetherness, love and peace. But for others struggling to put food on the table, the holiday season can put an even bigger strain on resources.

The Durham Rescue Mission held its annual Christmas dinner on Friday. A warm, traditional Christmas meal was provided to anyone in need.

For some attendees, it was the first warm meal they've had in a while, and for some others, it was their chance to put a gift under the tree.

"I didn't have anything for my kids, and I came to get them something for Christmas," said Joyce Bloodsworth.

The day started with services but ended with games and a toy giveaway. People could also pick out clothes and groceries.

"We started out with about just 12, our first Christmas party was 12, and now we probably have 3,000, maybe 4,000," said Ernie Mills, with the Durham Rescue Mission.

It is a traditional that has been going on for years.

"I feel joy in my heart. I feel happy. I'm overwhelmed. I'm appreciative. I'm thankful," Bloodsworth said.

"My dad was a sharecropper. We were very poor. We seldom had very much for Christmas, and for me, just to see the smiling faces on the kids, that really makes my Christmas," Mills said.