JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The City Rescue Mission, community leaders and volunteers came together Wednesday to celebrate Thanksgiving with the less fortunate. A Thanksgiving meal, care packages and socks were given to the guests.
Mayor Lenny Curry and his family were among the volunteers, as a little praise, a plate to eat and plenty of smiles were given at the City Rescue Mission.
"Recognizing that there are so many in our city that are suffering and that need help, and I'm just grateful to be a small part of today, knowing there are people that get up every day like the City Rescue Mission with a focus on taking care of people,” Curry said.
Hundreds of people lined up around the building to get a little bit of relief. The meals included turkey with all the fixings.
"If it wasn't for the mission and the city of Jacksonville, I don't know where a lot of people would eat at,” Keith Johnson said. “This place right now that are feeding these people is keeping a lot of crime down."
But it wouldn't be possible without the dozens of volunteers who prepared and helped serve the food. They were ready to feed 1,200 people.
"What's interesting is people come here and say, 'I thought I was coming to help, but I'm leaving knowing I was helped.' It's always an opportunity for all of us to know that there are people that are worse off than we are,” City Rescue Mission Executive Director Penny Kievet said. “It gives us an opportunity to serve them."
Outside, it was like a street party with music. Volunteers also gave out care packages.
"I just wanted to thank the city of Jacksonville for a great job, and they're really feeding a lot of people,” Johnson said. “For the homeless, it's the best meal they've ever had."
The City Rescue Mission plans to continue to help those in need. Officials said the Thanksgiving meal will continue to be a tradition for years to come.