Springfield Rescue Mission feeds hundreds during annual Thanksgiving dinner

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Thanksgiving came a day early at the Rescue Mission in Springfield.

Hundreds of people gathered there Wednesday for breakfast and dinner, many of them, just grateful for a meal, and a warm place to eat it.

Clovis Ledgister was a guest at Wednesday’s dinner. He has spent plenty of Thanksgivings out on the streets, but said this year, he has a lot to be thankful for. “When you’re homeless you don’t have a place to go and eat. To have turkey and all of this wonderful food, you’ve got to give thanks for that.”

The Rescue Mission feeds hundreds of people every single year, on the day before Thanksgiving. For many of their guests, it’s the only Thanksgiving meal they’ll have.

For George Pavlak, Thanksgiving at the Rescue Mission has become somewhat of a tradition. “I was homeless, but I’m currently off the streets because of programs like this. It does help people. ”

Lisa Sheehan was one of the Mission’s dozens of volunteers. She told 22News helping people is what Thanksgiving is all about. “That’s what makes it the most rewarding for me. They’re just so appreciative that someone cares about them, that there’s a place they can come, sit down, share a meal.”

Serving Thanksgiving meals has been a tradition at the Rescue Mission for at least three decades.