DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Thanksgiving plans for the Durham Rescue Mission looked different this year, but the goal of making sure everyone had a good meal to enjoy was still the purpose.
"It really breaks my heart to think about the families who traditionally look forward to coming," said Ernie Mills, Jr. with the mission. "But we're happy to be doing what we can do."
Fueled by a spirit to help others, volunteers with the mission started preparing hundreds of meals at 4 a.m. on Thursday, cooking turkeys on a large outdoor grill.
The huge traditional meal shared under one space couldn't happen because of COVID-19, but hundreds of meals were loaded up in cars and dropped off in Durham neighborhoods.
Lisa Lynch was one of 30 volunteers dedicating their time and gas to feed families on Thanksgiving.
"I'm here to be a blessing," she said.
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Her job Thursday was to drop off meals at JJ Henderson Housing Center on South Duke Street -- a home for senior citizens.
In total, the Durham Rescue Mission served 1,307 Thanksgiving meals -- 957 of which were delivered by Meals on Wheels, Elevation Church, and other volunteer drivers.
Each delivery consisted of a Thanksgiving dinner of roasted turkey, dressing, gravy, green beans, corn, and deserts.
"I love people," Lynch said. "People need help. This is the time of the year where people are struggling why not give it's a blessing to be a blessing to someone else. That's why I'm doing this."
Families will also get $20 gift certificates to the mission's thrift store.
Durham Rescue Mission delivers more than 1,300 Thanksgiving meals