DURHAM (WTVD) -- Volunteers with the Durham Rescue Mission started preparing 100 turkeys Wednesday night for Thanksgiving Day, many of them staying awake all night just to make sure others in need would have something to eat.
"I think it's just good for them to come out here and see what goes on. A lot of times you don't realize what you've got until you come out here and see what other people might not have," said Chuck McLean, who brought two of his pre-teen daughters with him to volunteer for the Durham Rescue Mission's Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner and Meals on Wheels.
And while the girls only got a couple of hours sleep inside the Durham Rescue Mission, they were all smiles Thursday afternoon when residents started showing up to eat their Thanksgiving meal.
"It makes me feel happy because it makes me feel like I did something for my community and helping others in need. It just feels really good," says Chuck's oldest daughter, Madison.
As those who turned out, the Durham Rescue Mission said they were on pace to serve more than 1,500 meals. In addition to that there were free groceries and 10,000 clothing items given away, along with games for the kids to play where everyone walked away a winner.
The event is the Mission's largest of the year, although they serve meals and provide beds to the homeless all year round. In fact, they estimate they serve 64 percent of the city's needy. And seeing that firsthand provided volunteers like the Mclean's younger daughter with a lessen in gratitude.
"It's good for us to see how these people live, and how we have good conditions, like we are sleeping in beds. And it's good for them to have a good place to sleep just like us," said Sydney.
In all the mission had about 500 volunteers who showed up over the past couple days.
Learn more at www.DurhamRescueMission.org.