Volunteers prepare for Christmas meal, gift-giving at Durham Rescue Mission

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s crunch time for volunteers and organizers with the Durham Rescue Mission.

They spent Sunday preparing to serve meals and provide gifts for people throughout the Triangle.

Professional chef Clarence Dillard was one of many out prepping about 100 turkeys at the mission Sunday.

“It’s definitely needed,” Dillard said. “We’re able to let some people know, ‘Look, stop worrying about life, and we’ll take care of it for you’.”

Lenny Sutherland is a former client at the rescue mission. This year is his first as a mission staff member helping cook and bag toys.

“I don’t have any family. Everybody has passed away, and this is how I celebrate Christmas,” Sutherland said. “The spirit of Christmas is so overwhelming, it just touches your heart in like no other way.”

Joseph Howard, a current Durham Rescue Mission client, is looking forward to serving and sharing holiday memories.

“This is a time to gather together, put aside any differences. Just sit down, have a great meal, enjoy some toys and see some smiles in the crowd,” Howard said.

A labor of love, that Sutherland believes, includes a season filled with care.

“There are people who are ready to reach out and say, ‘Here, there’s hope,” he said.

Toys will be given out and the meal will be served at the mission Monday afternoon.

The mission will also be giving clothing and groceries, and hold a drawing for a flat-screen smart TV, five bicycles and five $100 Walmart gift cards.

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