In 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower crossed the ocean on a journey to the new world. They came with hopes and dreams yet early in their settlement, they faced hardship and opposition. It was only through the aid of an unlikely source that they were able to survive. Thanks to the kindness of local Native Americans, the Pilgrims survived the Winter and their colony thrived. In celebration, they hosted a feast with their new friends, a feast that would be called the first Thanksgiving.
Each Thanksgiving, the Mission throws open our arms and our doors to all who hunger for food and friendship – and just as the Native Americans did with the Pilgrims… we welcome them like family.
Before our guests came to their Mission, they were much like the Pilgrims. They had hopes and dreams and yet somewhere along their life journey those dreams were lost and replaced with brokenness and despair.
Just as the Native Americans did in 1621, we walk alongside our guests and teach them how to overcome their hardships. At the Mission, we are training our guests to be self-sufficient members of our community by teaching healthy work habits, life skills and helping them heal from the wounds of their past. Through the love of Christ and the tools from our Life Recovery Program, they are able to discover who they are, what purpose God has for them, and how to not only survive but thrive.
While our Thanksgiving may look different from the very first Thanksgiving, the heart behind it is the same. Our table consists of people from all walks of life that have found their way to the Mission from a variety of circumstances. You may see men who have lost a job and women escaping domestic violence sitting right alongside staff and volunteers ready to walk and love them through the journey to get their life back.
The first Thanksgiving was only possible because of the kindness of strangers. This year, we will serve 1,300 meals on Thanksgiving Day to families in need in our community. How is that possible? It’s simple….because of YOU! This type of outreach is only possible because ordinary people in our cities come together to make this extraordinary task happen. We are so thankful for our community. Our donors and volunteers are the heartbeat of this ministry. YOU make our Thanksgiving Campaign possible. YOU make our Life Recovery Program possible. YOU make changing our cities one life at a time possible. Thank you for living the Thanksgiving legacy of neighbor helping neighbor not just once a year but every day.
Pastor Larry Otwell, Executive Director
P.S. There is still time to be part of this year’s Thanksgiving campaign. Whether you can you donate financially, donate goods or donate your time, there’s plenty of ways you can help. Click the links to learn more.