PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - Just one day before their annual Thanksgiving feast, Pensacola's Waterfront Mission cooked turkeys by the hundreds and prepared all the usual fixings.
Something as simple as an occupation can not only help define who you are, but complete you as a person.
Both are true for Rafael Quintin, who feeds those in need at the Waterfront Rescue Mission.
"I can't see any better feeling; it's awesome," Quintin said.
But Quintin isn't just a volunteer.
He's a client, enrolled in the mission's program towards recovery from addiction.
"Without the mission, I would probably still be dwelling in my sin and using, puzzled and confused."
When asked if he thinks he might be dead without the mission, Quintin said, "That's a very good possibility."
But now, Quintin said he lives his life to repay a debt to the place that saved it.
On Thursday, he'll help serve the mission's annual Thanksgiving dinner.
Food service manager Jason Peacock said they won't turn a single soul away. They have 75 24-pound turkeys and all the usual sides, and a crowd of around 1,500 is expected.
"It's an absolutely amazing position to be in to be able to give back to the community and to be able to feed the people that don't have anything, that are searching and looking for someone, and answers in their lives to be able to help them have this hot meal on such a special day as Thanksgiving," Peacock said.
Quintin said he has found his calling at the mission.
"I've done a lot of other trades and what not and there's no other with more passion than this, no better rush," Quintin said.
Quintin began his program nearly two months ago and is well on his way to becoming self-sufficient.
He said he is even considering a job in ministry, but for now he's taking it dinner by dinner, day by day.
Dinner will be served at the Waterfront Rescue Mission campus at 380 West Herman Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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