SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The holiday season is here and for those without a permanent roof over their heads, it can be an especially difficult time.
To help with that, a Savannah shelter served Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. More than 50 volunteers dished out a full meal, complete with turkey, all the fixings and dessert.
The program director of Old Savannah City Mission said it takes about six months to plan for this event every year.
“It’s a way to treat our friends and neighbors to a little treat before Thanksgiving,” Jermaine Ray said. “We hold an event every year where they’re able to come out, just relax, listen to some good music and just relax.”
Volunteers from all walks of life packed up boxes of food to then hand-deliver to those gathering for dinner.
“We’re here to help and serve,” said board director Marc Dunston. “The most important thing you can do any given day is help somebody else have a better day and that’s what we’re doing. Walking in their footsteps.”
“It’s also the best feeling in the world to come out for these guys to sit down and talk with you,” said Cpl. Barry Lewis with the Savannah Police Department’s community engagement division. “They talk about their problems, their issues that they normally wouldn’t open up about and we love it and we love to help.”
As the days start to get colder, the shelter also gave away clothes and blankets to help keep the homeless warm. The program director also told News 3 they’ve been preparing sleeping areas in the shelter for the surplus of guests they’re expecting this weekend.
Those helping out on Saturday said they hope the homeless feel a sense of happiness and that the community cares for them.
“It’s not just food, it’s the camaraderie you’re building to sit down to speak and talk to people,” Dunston said. “If you need help, the ability to ask for help, you know, talking about good communication skills. But we have the resources, we can send them to the proper people if they need assistance.”
Old Savannah City Mission is also collecting toy donations to give away on Christmas Day for those who can’t afford them. The program director said they give away hundreds of gifts each holiday season.