Durham Rescue Mission to serve more than 1,000 on Thanksgiving

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Volunteers pulled an all-nighter to put together Thanksgiving dinner for 1,000 people at the Durham Rescue Mission.

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It’s a laborious process, but it’s a labor of love to make the Thanksgiving dinner.

“It’s a long process…cutting up the turkeys, pulling the guts out, putting them on the grill,” said volunteer Daniel Thomas.

In a tent outside the Durham Rescue Mission, an army of volunteers babysit 100 turkeys, smoking them overnight.

The turkeys smoke for more than 10 hours, said volunteer David Luzader.

As for what makes the turkeys so delicious, Luzader said it’s simple.

“There really is no secret…you gotta put love into it…looking out for your community…that love comes from us to these turkeys to their mouth,” he said.

“We’ve put a lot of man hours into this. We’ve got some staff dedicated just to this,” said Rob Tart, COO of the Durham Rescue Mission.

By Thursday morning, the birds are good to go and more volunteers are ready to get to work carving the turkeys and making side dishes to serve the more than 1,000 people who come out to the mission.

“The need is always tremendous. When people come here, there are going to be people that come here that have nobody else. This is their thanksgiving meal,” Tart said.

The Durham Rescue Mission has been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for over 40 years and they said that each year the crowd gets bigger and the food gets better.

Those at the mission said they’re thankful for everyone who takes the time to help serve their community.

In addition to serving meals at the rescue mission, take-home Thanksgiving dinners are also distributed through Durham County’s Meals on Wheels program.

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