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What does Thanksgiving Mean to You?

What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving?
Is your first thought of a plate pilled high with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie? Is it of family near and far that will gather together, talk, and watch a game or a parade? Does your picture also include a time of thankfulness toward God?
Now imagine if you had no idea where your next meal was going to come from. Picture your life without family or friends. How difficult would it be for you to envision being thankful in that moment, especially toward God?
“It’s hard to have hope when you’re homeless and hungry,” said David, a guest of Nashville Rescue Mission for the past six months. “When you’re living on the streets, it’s almost like you’re invisible. People avoid making eye contact with you. But at the Mission, the staff and volunteers smile at me, speak to me, and treat me like a welcomed guest. It’s amazing how much that lifts a person up.”
David is not alone. Each day over 800 men, women, and children, find more than a meal at the Mission—they find hope. This hope is because of you.
Over the course of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Mission will serve over 6,000 meals to the hungry, homeless, and hurting. Preparing meals on a scale this size is a major undertaking. It requires thousands of pounds of turkey, potatoes, gravy, dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, and lots of pumpkin pie.
“So much time and effort goes into preparing and serving an extra-special Thanksgiving meal,” said Rev. Glenn Cranfield, president and CEO of the Mission. “Volunteers
get here early to prep for the day. Every turkey must be carved, every potato chopped, every pie sliced. Tables are covered with tablecloths. Walls are decorated with notes of hope. Uplifting music is playing in the background. Thoughtful steps are taken to make it an extraordinary day—filled with special memories for those who call the Mission their temporary home.”
It may be true that Thanksgiving
is more than a meal, but food is still one of the great joys of the holiday. It’s hard to imagine someone that knows the value of a full stomach better than those who are experiencing homelessness.
“I came here because I was homeless and I was hungry,” says William. “The Mission makes sure I have plenty to eat. But they have given me so much more than a meal. I enrolled in their Life Recovery Program and now I am excited about my future. Food is temporary. I’ll be hungry again tomorrow. But the chance for a better life… knowing that God loves me no matter what—you can’t put a price on that kind of hope.” It is proof positive that with each meal served with a smile, a touch, a tender word—a message of love, acceptance, and hope is shared.
“Thanksgiving is just one day out of 365 that helps make the Mission a light in the darkness,” said Cranfield. “We want our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness to enjoy a special Thanksgiving dinner—made and served with love! But after they’ve been fed, we want them to leave with something much greater—
hope for a brighter future through Jesus Christ.”
 It’s through your generosity the homeless and hungry can find a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings at the Mission. But it doesn’t stop there. Every day, those in need can find the comfort of nutritious food, essential clothing, and safe shelter—all because of your heart for the homeless, your compassion for the poor. Will you help us continue to provide food, clothing, and safe shelter to our neighbors? Visit https://nashvillerescuemission.org/donate/donate-now/ to help now.
 
 

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