Local News

Turkey With Fellowship Served Up by Durham Rescue Mission Volunteers

Posted November 22, 2007 8:05 a.m. EST
Updated November 22, 2007 8:33 p.m. EST

— Volunteers turkey-roasters gathered at the Durham Rescue Mission on Wednesday night and into Thursday to prepare and serve a traditional Thanksgiving feast for more than 1,000 people who otherwise might not see a good meal.

Year after year, the mission’s annual tradition lives up to the two words that form “Thanksgiving."

“It's a good day to be happy and to be thankful,” volunteer Kevin Gadsen said.

“It makes me feel good just to help out with everything,” said volunteer Remington Scarborough.

The volunteers were roasting and stirring 75 turkeys, 80 gallons of green beans and 40 gallons of corn.

The event, which Rescue mission Executive Director Ernie Mills calls the poor community’s “social,” also includes games for children and coats for them.

“We have clothing for the kids – this is just the beginning of cold weather,” Mills explained. "The day is supposed to be “just a fun time for the family to come together.”

“To them, it is their social of the year. The poor cannot rent the Civic Center and have a big social, so here, they come together and say, ‘Oh, I haven’t seen you in a year!’ and they’re just slapping one another on the back, and it’s their social,” Mills said.

In April, fire destroyed the Durham Rescue Mission's food pantry. The smoke and heat ruined thousands of cans.

It didn't take long for the mission to recover, however. People donated food and money to replenish the supply.

Thursday, organizers said they were grateful for the help and ready to give again.

Mills said bringing people together is what motivates him.

“My dad was a sharecropper and an alcoholic, and I never remember anyone reaching out and helping him. Since I’ve become a Christian, that’s what I really want to do, to reach out, help the community and pull the community together.” Mills said.