Few things usher in a true spirit of thankfulness like witnessing hundreds of servant hearts fast at work helping provide for those in need, especially during the holidays. This morning offered a beautiful glimpse into such an atmosphere as hundreds of volunteers weaved through the Mission campus and dining hall with hopes of brightening the day for more than 1,200 men, women and children throughout Birmingham.

Volunteers fill containers for delivery to the seniors and shut-ins

Preparations for Thanksgiving Day began weeks ago with countless donations culminating in 60 turkeys, 30 pans of dressing, 15 gallons of gravy, 450 pounds of green beans and 450 more of sweet potatoes, 1000 rolls and, of course, 120 pumpkins pies. This hot and delicious food will not only feed the hundreds of residents at our three facilities, but will be delivered to more than 500 seniors and shut-ins across the city thanks to a wonderful wave of volunteers.

Click on the linked video above to view footage from Thanksgiving Day
Serving began bright and early at 6 a.m. when individuals began the day by assisting in breakfast preparation here at the Sheprua Men’s Center. Just a few hours later countless others created an assembly line to prepare food packages for delivery before well over a hundred families gathered in the chapel ready to carry these meals to eager recipients across the community.

Tony Cooper, the Mission’s executive director emeritus, has dedicated 30 years to serving those in need and celebrated his final Thanksgiving Day as a staff member this morning. As a tribute, hundreds of volunteers gave him a standing ovation prior to his devotional thoughts.

Volunteers load packaged meals into delivery bags

Thanksgiving might best be described as a season for reflecting on the blessings in our lives while attempting to silence the worry and doubt that can so often plague our thoughts and stifle our optimism. It’s a time for what matters most, and what matters most is others. We at the Mission are thankful for you; all of you who became a part of our family through your generosity. Without your time and support hundreds would still be searching for help, and perhaps more desperately, hope this season. Your love and kindness provides an opportunity for change in the lives of those who need it most. And for that we are forever grateful.

From all of us at the Mission we hope you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving.