Hundreds of volunteers treat needy to Thanksgiving feast

Posted November 26, 2015 8:39 a.m. EST
Updated November 26, 2015 3:07 p.m. EST

— Hundreds of volunteers rose early on Thanksgiving Day to make sure needy families in Durham had a happy holiday.

The Durham Rescue Mission's annual community meal welcomed more than 400 volunteers and more than 1,200 guests for a day of feasting and fellowship at 1201 E. Main St.

In addition to the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, guests played games, enjoyed entertainment from a clown and went home with a bag of groceries and warm clothes for the winter.

Rescue Mission CEO Ernie Mills said he expected to prepare 75 turkeys, slow-cooked on outdoor grills throughout the morning in preparation for the noon meal.

The day began early, with chefs firing up those grills before dawn, preparing side items throughout the morning and volunteers packing take-home bags of groceries for the guests.

After the meal, volunteers would fan out across Durham to deliver Meals on Wheels to the homebound so they could share in the bounty.

In Raleigh, rescue mission volunteers expected to deliver 800 "Gobbles to Go" hot, delicious Thanksgiving meals to those who would otherwise go hungry.