Celebrating Thanksgiving with a little help from our friends
Thanksgiving is typically a time when families gather to recount their blessings and eat—especially turkey and pumpkin pie. But for those without a home or family, Thanksgiving can be very lonely.
Thankfully, because of generous friends in the community, those without a place to call home can enjoy some home-cooked food and a sense of belonging, served by caring volunteers during the Great Thanksgiving Banquet at Nashville Rescue Mission.
The banquet takes place the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the day of Thanksgiving. Volunteers play an important part in this special day. Whether it’s chopping potatoes, carrying a tray or serving a glass of water, volunteers let the guests know they are valued and treasured. Guests are treated like royalty, even if it’s just for a few hours…as volunteers carry their meals to their table and wait on them, refilling their glasses and even removing their dishes when they are finished eating.
More than a Meal
“We are extremely grateful for volunteers,” shares Chris Wilson, Director of Volunteer Services. “They are a familiar face, offer a friendly smile and become a ray of hope to the homeless men, women and children seeking a meal at the Mission.”
“We’ll be serving fried turkey, cornbread dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy and pumpkin pie,” shares Tony Baxter, Director of Food Services. “But, we need your help filling the pantry with turkeys, potatoes, cases of green beans, cranberry sauce and hundreds of pumpkin pies.” Volunteers will help the Mission serve more than 5,500 meals over the course of this year’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet.
“Volunteering is more than just serving food,” says Wilson. “Last year, I worked with a volunteer on Thanksgiving who had recently lost her father,” shares Wilson. “He graduated from the Mission’s life recovery program in 2006. We took a walk upstairs so she could see her father’s graduation picture proudly displayed on the wall. She said it was such an honor to volunteer her time on Thanksgiving at a place that was so loved by her father.”
“I was homeless three years ago,” shares Ray, one of the men in the life recovery program. “It was Thanksgiving dinner at the Mission that encouraged me to seek the life-changing help I needed. While the meal was fantastic, it was the thoughtfulness and care of strangers who were volunteering their time on Thanksgiving who really made me feel loved. I couldn’t believe they would give up time on their holiday to serve someone like me.”
Your gifts will make the Great Thanksgiving Banquet a feast fit for a king or queen. It is through your generosity, the compassion of Christ is extended to those seeking food and shelter, but truly need more than a meal. At the Mission they find not just a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, they find love.