FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- The Rescue Mission is seeing more people in need of shelter and food during the colder months.
James Fair Jr. has been a member at The Rescue Mission for about six months.
But on Wednesday, he was also a volunteer.
He and about 100 others helped hand out meals to those in need.
“I like giving back to the community, I love it,” Fair Jr. said.
The Rescue Mission has played a huge role in his life as he’s worked to overcome addiction, so he wanted to show how the center can help others too.
And it makes him happy knowing he’s making a difference.
“It brings tears to [my] eyes,” he said.
Laurie Brumbaugh, the senior vice president of The Rescue Mission Foundation, said the number of members has gone up over the last few months.
So this year volunteers made 4,000 meals compared to last year’s 2,500.
“The cold weather has really increased our numbers, and so we know that the need for food as well is increasing,” Brumbaugh said.
The tables in the volunteer room held a few dozen meals at a time.
During the rush of the giveaway, each table would empty in a matter of minutes.
“People are just so thankful to be able to have the traditional thanksgiving dinner, a warm meal,” Brumbaugh said. “It means a lot to someone who might not otherwise be able to have that.”
The meals have all the classic elements of Thanksgiving: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, green beans and pie.
Fair Jr. knows how important having a hot meal can be for those who might not have access all the time, especially around the holidays.
“It makes a difference a lot because you look all around the world and stuff, there’s a lot of people that don’t even have food to eat, so by the grace of God, it’s meant to be,” he said.
The Rescue Mission ended up giving out over 4,500 meals in four hours.
The center will also be doing its sit-down Thanksgiving meals on Thursday at noon and 5 p.m.
The Rescue Mission is also in need of winter weather gear like coats, hats, gloves and scarves for its residents.
If you’d like to donate some items, you can drop them off at the Rescue Mission in downtown Fort Wayne or at Treasure House on Coldwater Road.