COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - While many people are enjoying their Thanksgiving meals, there are some that will be without the comfort of a roof over their heads this holiday.
To help offer those without some joy, Valley Rescue Mission volunteers and staff spent a good portion of today passing out traditional Thanksgiving meals.
Valley Rescue Mission’s two youngest volunteers Mason, 13, and Avery Bishop, 10, spent their Thanksgiving day helping prep just over 1,000 meals to pass out to those in need.
“I just want to help people because sometimes they have a need and they may not have family or money to spend Thanksgiving with,” Mason Bishop said. “I want to brighten up their day because it is an important day.”
Turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and an assortment of desserts were on the menu.
For many without the basic necessities, this meal not only fills their stomachs but also gives them hope.
“It would be wonderful if more people did something like this,” said Aminata Koroma who is currently homeless. “But you don’t see too many of that.”
Many of the volunteers who sacrificed their own Thanksgiving celebrations to give back have a story or two to tell about what inspired them to help feed the hungry.
“I was in bad shape, in and out of prison,” said Ernie Perritt, program assistant for Valley Rescue Mission. “But I tried to get right and heard about the Valley program.”
“I can make a difference in someone’s daily life,” said Dominique Wolfe, a Valley Rescue Mission volunteer. “They might be having a rough day and come in here and see all of us helping out and just giving. Their day might go up.”
The Valley Rescue Mission CEO and president, Rhonda Mobley, said it is important to help those in need, especially around the holidays because it could be the beginning steps of getting those people who are struggling back on their feet.
“Until you can get someone’s physical needs met, they are not as open and receptive to hear what you have to say,” Mobley said.
The Valley Rescue Mission serves the less fortunate every day of the week, which is completely funded through community donation.
Since COVID-19, the center said it has tripled the amount of food it serves.
By the close of Thanksgiving, Valley Rescue Mission estimates they it serve just over 1,000 holiday meals to those in need.