Springfield Rescue Mission Preparing to Feed Hundreds
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — This Thanksgiving, hundreds of homeless and needy families will enjoy a traditional holiday meal, thanks to the generosity of a small group of volunteers at the Springfield Rescue Mission.
Executive Director Ron Willoughby describes the Springfield Rescue Mission’s kitchen in the hours leading up to tonight’s big meal with one word: chaotic.
“We’re prepared right now to do probably in the neighborhood of 700 meals or more,” says Willoughby.
The Springfield Rescue Mission opens its doors at 4 p.m. Wednesday, inviting anyone who could use a warm meal to stop by and eat for free.
On Thursday at 7 a.m., they’ll do it all over again, offering folks a big Thanksgiving breakfast.
Volunteers at Springfield Rescue Mission say the meals take weeks to prepare.
“Every day we do so many turkeys and we start cutting the potatoes and we start making sure we have enough in-house,” says Geri Warton of the Springfield Rescue Mission Board of Directors.
While Warton and her fellow cooks put the finishing touches on tonight’s dinner, this afternoon a dozen other volunteers are delivering meals to at least 170 home-bound seniors and adults with disabilities.
Since the Springfield Rescue Mission receives no government funding, all of the food they’re serving and all of the man-hours those meals require come from generosity alone.
“It’s an expense, but it’s not the expense it could be because we have so many people who are willing to help us out this time of year,” says Willoughby.
“I think it’s just seeing smiles on peoples faces and hearing them say “thank you’ and ‘God bless you’ and that they have a nice safe meal here at the Springfield Rescue Mission,” says Warton, when asked about her favorite part of the event.
As soon as the dishes are clean Thursday morning, the Springfield Rescue Mission will immediately shift gears, working to provide families with food and gifts this Christmas — and they’re always looking for more volunteers.
You can find more information on volunteering with or donating to the Springfield Rescue Mission at hope4springfield.org