Volunteers help brighten day at Nashville Rescue Mission - | WBTV Charlotte

Volunteers help brighten day at Nashville Rescue Mission


While many spent the day surrounded by family and friends, there were others who broke bread with total strangers.

The Nashville Rescue Mission held its annual Thanksgiving Day feast Thursday afternoon.

A small army of volunteers started converging on the Nashville Rescue Mission before dawn this morning to dish out tons of food to those less fortunate – eggs, sausage and the works.

"I start cooking eggs and then we do about 200 pounds of potatoes for mashed potatoes. Then we do gravy," said volunteer Bob Sudderth.

For some, volunteering each year is as much a part of Thanksgiving tradition as the turkey itself. It's a family affair.

"My wife's family, my brother-in-law, her mom and dad," said volunteer Mickey Whitehurst. "It's something we can do. Something simple to do to help out somebody that needs it."

"Some of us are fortunate, some of us are not," said volunteer Jack Christopher. "So why not give back to some who aren't as fortunate as we are."

By lunch there was a new team of volunteers, some 600 total over the two-day stretch, dishing out turkey, dressing and all the fixings.

"It really means a lot. It lets them know people care about them. It builds up their self-worth and just to fellowship with everybody is often a working force," said Tony Baxter, the food service director at the Nashville Rescue Mission.

"It just lets them know they're special, that people do care about them."

"There are a lot of people that don't have much and they're still smiling," said volunteer Tammie Eldridge. "They were keeping the jokes rolling, and that's encouraging. It's a gift."

Organizers said they fed breakfast to about 800 people and another 1,200 showed up for lunch.

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