Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For many, this includes feasting, four-day weekends, football games, floats, family reunions, or a forerunner to Christmas festivities. The holiday’s origins are found in the early settlers setting aside a time to give thanks for one’s blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest. And while the celebrations may differ somewhat from those early years, the importance of being thankful still holds true.
Yet, for the homeless and hurting in our community, Thanksgiving might be just another day—nothing special. Or worse, perhaps they see it as a bitter reminder of the things they don’t have … like a home or a job, or family and friends to share it with. For them, finding something to be thankful for might come as a challenge.
But with your help, it doesn’t have to be this way. Your support of Nashville Rescue Mission makes it possible for the Mission to prepare and serve nearly 6,000 traditional Thanksgiving Day meals over the course of the holiday weekend and serve them to our neighbors who are most in need. At the Mission, the doors are open wide and all are welcome.
A meal of such magnitude requires a significant grocery list that includes 9,000 pounds of turkey, 5,000 dinner rolls, 1,000 pounds of potatoes, 100 gallons of gravy, 600 pounds of dressing, and 800 pounds of green beans. And the task of preparing and serving this meal is enormous. Which is why the Mission will see over 1,000 volunteers providing more than 2,700 hours of service during the week of Thanksgiving.
“So many of the things we do would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our great volunteers,” said Joy Ferguson, director of volunteer services.
“They embody the Mission’s values and desire to help make a difference in our guests’ lives. These are selfless, generous people who dedicate their time and resources to a great and noble cause. We see them as superheroes: single individuals, families, organizations, churches, and businesses who serve with us in a variety of capacities.”
“For many, volunteering with us is a transformative experience,” said Rev. Glenn Cranfield, president and CEO. “It takes away the ‘stigma’ of being homeless in order to see our guests for who they really are—people. And while our volunteer spots fill up quickly during the holiday season, there is always an opportunity to serve with us in other areas and during other times of the year: donation drives, classes for our adult clients, arts and crafts with the children at our Women’s Campus, and even helping us sort and organize some of our donations.”
“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays,” shared Cranfield. “It is a blessing to see how the community comes together to support the homeless men, women, and children the Mission serves through donations of time, food, and finances.
It’s because of you that Thanksgiving at the Mission truly is great!”
With Thanksgiving a little over a month away, the Mission is accepting donations of turkeys, and all the Thanksgiving fixings including potatoes, green beans, rolls, and pies.
Donations can be dropped off at the Mission’s Donation Center located at 616 7th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203.
If you would like to volunteer during the Thanksgiving holiday, sign ups begin in early November, and spots will fill up quickly.