Local News

Volunteers serve Thanksgiving dinners

Posted November 25, 2010 7:23 a.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2010 2:44 p.m. EST

— Volunteers served a Thanksgiving feast for 1,500 at the Durham Rescue Mission on Thursday. 

Hundreds of volunteers began cooking 75 turkeys around 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Micah Poppish, 10, helped prepare the food.

“It’s real exciting to be able to help other people," Micah said.

Thanksgiving dinner at the mission also includes all the trimmings – pounds of stuffing, gallons of gravy and thousands of green beans.

The meal began at noon at 1201 E. Main St.

"Even if you've got money and, yet, you are at home and you're lonely eating by yourself, come on and eat with us," CEO Ernie Mills said.

Volunteers distributed more than 5,000 articles of clothing, including winter coats, and almost 1,000 bags of groceries to the guests. 

"This place is a blessing. The people that work here (are) a blessing," mission visitor Roger Davis said. 

Organizers said they refer to the event as "homeless prevention." 

"I was on crack and alcohol and living on the streets and stuff, near suicide, and I come here, and it just changed my life," Davis said. 

For the needy who can't make it to the celebration, drivers will be delivering Meals on Wheels.

Last year, the mission set a record by serving more than 1,000 people on the holiday.

"My dad was a sharecropper, and I know what it is to be poor," Mills said. "I know what it is to appreciate a good meal when you get one. It's gratifying to me just to see the smiles on their faces."