Local shelter prepares for record Thanksgiving meal
Reporter: Aaron Brackett
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Preparation for one of the city's largest thanksgiving meals started Tuesday morning as several trucks arrived with dozens of donated rolls, hundreds of cans of veggies, and of course turkey -- and lots of it, 153 birds in all.
While it takes almost 400 volunteers to pull off Wednesday's banquet, Tuesday's preparation wasn't a small endeavor. Kitchen Manager Kelly Edwards says people really step up during the holiday season.
"Peoples' hearts want to be helpful this time of the year because they are thankful in their lives and they want to come out and help," said Edwards.
Thankfulness is what drives volunteer Donna Watkins, who also stays at the rescue mission's Women's Shelter. "I came from being in many years of addiction," said Watkins. "I ended up coming to the Gospel Rescue Mission, and been there going on six months and I love it. I couldn't find a better way to give back during the holidays."
While hundreds of cans were being opened by hand outside, inside, turkeys were being painstakingly deboned one at a time, but volunteers 9OYS spoke to said the dirty work is the most rewarding.
"We aren't doing it to be in front of everybody, we are doing it to help God and get the word out," said volunteer Stacy Shultz.
If you are in need, here are the locations of this year's banquets:
Salvation Army Thanksgiving Lunch - St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church at 1145 East Fort Lowell Thursday 11a-1p. (520) 795-9671
Gospel Rescue Mission Banquet - 312 W. 28th Street Wednesday 11a-2p (520) 740-1501
Donations can be given to the Gospel Rescue Mission's 28th Street location or the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, 3003 South Country Club Road.