Thousands of Volunteers Spend Thanksgiving With Mission Arlington

It's a unique way to give back in the season of giving.

Despite the rain and cold on Thursday, up to 6,000 volunteers with Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex made sure families in need were able to have a homemade Thanksgiving meal for the 32nd year in a row.

Volunteers spent the last several days to weeks prepping ready-to-cook meal boxes and ready-to-eat hot meals to be delivered to thousands of families on Thanksgiving day. They also organized each delivery to know the need of each family, and prepared even more food to feed the homeless and hungry at their Mission Arlington facility on site.

Volunteers said it truly takes an army to make sure as many mouths as possible are fed.

NBC 5 News
Tillie Burgin, Mission Arlington

"It's always a great thing when you have a larger sense of self, when you think of others as opposed to yourself," said volunteer Lenard White, who waited in line to get his assignment on Thursday morning.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams helped kick things off with a prayer alongside Mission Arlington director Tillie Burgin.

"We love to give the food but the care the volunteers give in this community is huge," she said. "We're grateful, grateful to God."

Countless vehicles lined up outside the facility and popped their trunks, with volunteers moving swiftly to load it up with multiple boxed meals and a whole turkey.

"It's important that they have a good hot meal on Thanksgiving day, that's what it's about," said volunteer Paul Austin. "It's just a great experience to give back on Thanksgiving, to me that's what Thanksgiving is all about."

Mission Arlington is estimating at least 25,000 people in the area are being fed.

"The holidays are a crisis for a lot of folks because they don't have the extra money to buy the turkey. They don't have money to buy toys for Christmas," explained Burgin. "When they use their rent money to buy a turkey, we're preventing homelessness."

It's one less worry and one more reason to celebrate on this Thanksgiving Day.

"It takes people with the heart of God to give what they give," said Burgin.

To learn more about Mission Arlington, click here.

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