CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Charlotte Rescue Mission is preparing to serve Thanksgiving meals to more than 1,000 people this Thursday, and it's open to anyone needing a place to feel at home.
“We’re expecting well over 500 guests to walk through our doors and enjoy a wonderful holiday meal,” says Rev. Tony Marciano, President/CEO of Charlotte Rescue Mission.
There will be movies shown during the day and cell phones will be available for guests to use. They say this event is not only for the homeless, it’s for anyone who wants to celebrate Thanksgiving in a family setting.
“This will be my first thanksgiving in an environment to where I feel like somebody cares about what's going on with me.”
For the first time in a long time, Kent is one of the many people who will have a warm meal on the table come Thursday.
“It's going to be quite different and I’m excited about it because a great portion of my life has been homeless and in incarceration, so this will be my first Thanksgiving actually in society among some good people,” Kent said.
He knows all too well how it feels to be without food and a family during the holidays.
“I'm excited and I’m looking forward to it and just a sense of giving back and being grateful for what the rescue mission has done for me,” Kent said.
He's one of the many who have completed the four-month residential program at Charlotte Rescue Mission to get back on his feet.
“It's truly been a blessing and I’m grateful,” he said.
He'll join a community of people Thursday to give thanks.
“We're super busy and we have so much going on but it always seems to work out and come out really well,” said Ohenrico Blake.
He’s the man who is helping make it all happen. More than one-hundred turkeys are being cooked.
“I just really feel good about what we're doing everything looks so nice and clean and perfect on that day," Blake said.
Bringing hope and gratitude to the people who might need it a little bit more on the day of thanks.
“It's usually after the holiday I can reflect on what we did and why we did it and it brings me a lot of joy,” Blake said.
“There is hope and there are people in this world that really cares about people that are homeless and are willing to go an extra mile to help you get your life back,” said Kent.
“Our guests will be treated like royalty” says Marciano. “They will be served by volunteers dressed in white shirts, black pants or skirts to resemble fine dining wait staff. The Rescue Mission dining hall will look like a five-star restaurant with fine china, polished silverware and cloth napkins all on beautiful table cloths.”
You can help get results for the Charlotte Rescue Mission. It's still in need of home-made baked goods for deserts, which you can drop off up until 10:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.
The schedule for the Thanksgiving day events can be seen below. You can also learn more here.
7:00am - 8:30am Hot breakfast will be served in the dining hall
6:00am - 2:30pm Movies will be shown in the chapel all day
9:00am - 2:30pm Cell phones will be available for guests to call home
11:30am Thanksgiving meal begins