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Fewer volunteers, extra precautions: Local non-profits still feed hundreds this Thanksgiving

The Downtown Rescue Mission's annual Thanksgiving banquet had a little less help this year in order to make space in their facility for anyone in the community who needed a holiday meal.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 3:14 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2020 10:15 AM

Local non-profits had to make changes to their Thanksgiving dinners this year because of the coronavirus.

The Downtown Rescue Mission's annual Thanksgiving banquet had a little less help this year in order to make space in its facility for anyone in the community who needed a holiday meal.

Hundreds of meals were served this year, despite having a limited number of helping hands.

"It's our first year volunteering here, it's exciting," Yuritza Olayo, a volunteer, said.

For Anahi Feria, Maritiza and Yuritza Olayo, being able to help the community this Thanksgiving was important to them especially during the pandemic.

"I know that some people have lost their jobs, and some people don't even have a family to go. That was important to us to give a little bit back to the community," Maritza Olayo, a volunteer, said.

Before this year, hundreds of volunteers came to help with the Downtown Rescue Mission's dinner. But because of the coronavirus the organization had to limit the number.

"Folks still wanted to come and volunteer even though there's all this stuff going on, we did have to turn some away and we apologize about that but they were very understanding with all the circumstances with Covid," Keith Overholt, the CEO and President of the Downtown Rescue Mission, said.

Overholt said even though they had less help their mission to serve the community remained the same.

"With less volunteers, it's more on my staff but that's OK because we're here to help as many people as we can," he said.

And, volunteers WAAY 31 spoke with didn't mind the extra work.

"As long as we're helping other people I don't care if I have to stay until 12 or something, I'll stay until 12 to help somebody else because it will make me feel good afterwards," Anahi Feria, a volunteer, said.

Overholt said safety precautions were also put in place during the banquet to keep everyone safe such as having the tables spread out and a to-go meal option.

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