Thanksgiving at the Rescue Mission
ROME/UTICA — Helping those in need is a year-round endeavor, and the local rescue Missions are more than happy to help.
Matt Miller, executive director of the Rome Rescue Mission, said their location had delivered 460 Thanksgiving meals on Wednesday.
"We gave away 1,500 turkeys on Tuesday," Miller said. "And we have our continental breakfast Thanksgiving morning and our Thanksgiving meal in the afternoon."
Given the state of things between the economy and inflation, Miller said the community has been amazing in their support.
"We’re very blessed to provide so much for so many people," Miller said. "We’ve seen an increase in people coming in who have never used our services before. So it’s a real positive thing to be able to help those people who are just having a tough time."
Among those attending the continental breakfast that morning in Rome were two local residents, John McNamara and Frank Cirillo.
McNamara, 73, said he’s spent a lot of time volunteering at the Rome Rescue Mission.
"I love this place," McNamara said. "I wanted to come down here because I don’t have any specific gathering for Thanksgiving."
Cirillo, a minister, said that a lot of people don’t have anything to look forward to for the holidays.
"God says to feed the hungry. And this is a place where they can not only eat but feel loved," Cirillo said. "The people volunteering are doing what the Bible said."
"This is what it’s all about. People reaching out and people helping people," he added.
Over at the Utica Rescue Mission, around the same time, staff and volunteers were delivering meals to those in need and preparing for their sit-down meals.
Wendy Goetz, executive director of the Utica Rescue Mission, said they’ve been preparing 1,200 for those in the area.
"The Rescue Mission has, for the last 130 years, worked to bring the community a Thanksgiving meal," Goetz said. "We still do meals 365 days a year, three meals a day. But today is just a little bit more special. We do deliver home meals, but if someone’s alone or doesn’t have a place to go, they can sit down and join us."
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