Thanksgiving dinner is a big deal at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission.
“We are cooking turkeys 24 hours a day non stop,” says Erin Jones the food services manager and head chef at the mission.
Jones says the staff will work around the clock through the holiday and get up before the sun does so they can welcome and serve those who have nowhere to go and no one to share a warm Thanksgiving dinner with, that means cooking 15 thousand thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings.
“We’re doing 120 turkeys, 800 pounds of mashed potatoes, we do 80 pounds of cranberries, we do everything by scratch,” says Jones adding that by the time they get to go home to their own families they’re exhausted but she can’t imagine not being a part of what the mission serves up, “just seeing the smiles on their face and … enjoying Thanksgiving when they normally don’t have family is all it takes.”
But there’s another reason why this meal is so meaningful to her.
“That used to be me six years ago, that was me I came here for the holidays and ended up becoming a client, now I work here so,” says Jones holding back tears.
Just six years ago, she was living on the streets, addicted to drugs, she took a chance and came in for a Thanksgiving meal.
That meal changed her life.
“This whole place saved my life so, you know got me my family back, got me everything back so yeah, it’s a blessing,” she says.
A story made possible through one meal, made and served with love.
“And that’s what we try and do when they come for a meal, is to just show them love and show them that we’re there for them,” says Jones
To donate to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission click here: CVRM.