Every time we put out a call for help, we are blown away by the generosity of WBTV viewers.
The Charlotte Rescue Mission does Thanksgiving in style every year for hundreds of people who need a meal.
But this year, the nonprofit was in trouble. They weren't going to be able to make that tradition a reality on their own, and they reached out to WBTV for help.
Reverend Tony Marciano told us Wednesday, "We're short on turkeys. We have 125 donated. Normally by this time we have 500 donated to the rescue mission. So obviously we're in desperate need of turkey donations."
After the story aired Wednesday night, the phone at the Rescue Mission started ringing and people starting dropping in – donating money, time, and food.
By Friday afternoon, almost 100 people had stopped in at the Rescue Mission and dropped off food. Others called with money donations. McGrann Paper Corporation sent a shipment of 250 frozen turkeys.
Reverend Marciano says "Charlotte, thank you. You have an incredible heart. You came to the need when Charlotte Rescue Mission was short of turkeys".
The owner of McGrann told WBTV he heard the plea, and since he could help - he did.
Jill Norman handed over a donation Friday afternoon. She said, "I heard the plea on your news report - just wanted everybody to have a happy Thanksgiving."
Sally Honeycutt and her husband stopped by to deliver about 65 canned goods and boxes of other food items. She says her daughter works at Crown Point Family Physicians and "they took up donations today for the Rescue Mission".
Charlie Smith brought over 5 turkeys after he saw the news report. He's not surprised people responded. "I think they know it's Thanksgiving. The weather is getting cold - be a lot of people who need some good cooking on Thursday. We're just glad to be able to do it".
The Rescue Mission says a woman walked in with several hundred dollars. She told them she saw the story on WBTV and went around asking everyone she knew to donate. Two men did the same thing – going to work Thursday morning and gathering donations from coworkers.
An elementary school called and offered two turkeys – and asked if the Rescue Mission could come talk to the students about what the Rescue Mission does.
All of these donations will help make the Charlotte Rescue Mission's Thanksgiving dinner a success. This year, the Rescue Mission is doing something a little extra too – delivering baskets to people who are homebound and can't afford to buy food.
They expect to make 1,200 meals. Rico Blake, the Food Service Manager at the Rescue Mission, says he expects to cook "300 pounds of potatoes, 150-to-200 pounds of green beans, 50-to-75 pounds of ham".
The Rescue Mission now has dozens of volunteers lined up for Monday to help make and deliver those Thanksgiving baskets, too.
Reverend Marciano says "this Thanksgiving is going to be an incredibly memorable day for hundreds of people whose Thanksgiving Holiday would not have been had it not been for you. On their behalf, thank you".
Of course, anyone who still wants to help is welcome. The Rescue Mission says it also delivers meals to other shelters, so there is no such thing as too many donations - nothing will be wasted.
You can drop off turkeys or other donations at the Charlotte Rescue Mission's uptown location – 907 West First Street – diagonal from the Carolina Panthers practice field.
You can also call Jill at 704-334-4635 x240.
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