PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - This Thanksgiving, one Pensacola group will be feeding thousands of homeless and needy families.
But, the Waterfront Rescue Missions says, it can't do it alone. The group, which has been serving the needy for over 60 years, says it is in need of donations, clothing and volunteers to help it prepare for the holiday season.
In 2010, the group served a total of 222,459, many of those on Thanksgiving day. A donation of as little as $2.23 will feed one person on Thanksgiving.
"On Thanksgiving Day, the mission will continue the tradition of opening its doors to the homeless and hungry men, women and children of the Gulf Coast," the group said in a press release. "This year, the missions is focusing on fellowship and will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving feast in a restaurant-style atmosphere."
The group is also asking for donations of clothing to prepare those without for the coming cold months. Items like coast, jeans, gloves, scarves, hats, blankets, socks and sleeping bags are much needed, along with other items such as backpacks, underwear and personal hygiene items.
Volunteers are also needed for Thanksgiving day to help serve meals at the group's Mobile, Pensacola and Fort Walton offices. The meal will begin at 11 a.m., beginning with a short program and music, followed by the meal to be served at noon.
The group also provides shelter across its 6 mission sites, including its women's shelter and career development home.
According to the the Florida Department of Children and families, some 85,907 persons are homeless on any given day, and only about 9,000 emergency shelter beds and 13,000 transitional shelter beds are available to the entire homeless population.
The group also needs help to complete its new facility in Pensacola. When completed in June 2012, the 32,000 square foot facility will increase the number of homeless beds from 37 to 79, and add an additional 50 beds for special needs programs.
The Waterfront Rescue Mission is a Christian organization that provides shelter for the homeless, and also includes a recovery and career development programs for homeless men and women with drug and alcohol addictions. The programs are supported through donations from supporters in the community and proceeds from the six Bargain Centers that Waterfront Rescue Mission operates. Call 1-888-853-8655, visit their website or follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.
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