Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NYC Mission Says Thanksgiving a Time to 'Bless Our Neighbors and Our City'

NEW YORK – The Bowery Mission, one of New York City's largest and oldest Christian rescue organizations, is celebrating this Thanksgiving the way it does every year – by serving the hungry and homeless. But the nonprofit organization is also playing an important role in helping victims of Hurricane Sandy get back on their feet.

The charity organization has been serving the homeless and the hungry since 1879, and is celebrating its 133th Thanksgiving this year. The staff and volunteers are needed now more than ever as New York City faces a record number of homeless citizens and is recovering from Sandy, one of the most devastating storms to hit the Tri-state region in recorded history. The hurricane killed over 200 people in seven countries and destroyed thousands of homes, impacting and changing many lives.
The Bowery Mission offers a number of ways for people to give and help during this important time of the year, which includes volunteering opportunities, raising funds, donating food and clothes, and spreading the message of goodwill. James Winans, Chief Development Officer at The Bowery, says that like many organizations, theirs has faced significant challenges as a result of the storm. He thanks people for their generosity this season – but noted in a conversation with The Christian Post that help is also greatly welcomed at other times of the year.
The Bowery Mission's main building is located in downtown Manhattan – an area hit hard by flooding that closed down many streets and left almost the entire area without power for a number of days.
"Thanksgiving is always the biggest time of the year for us," Winans told CP. "During the week of Thanksgiving, we serve around 9,000 meals. During Thanksgiving Day alone, we serve about 5,000 meals. On Thanksgiving Day, we serve meals six times in our century-old chapel, and people eat around round tables with beautiful table cloths and beautiful center pieces, and musical entertainment, and they are served by volunteers who act as waiters and waitresses. When our guests leave, they are provided with a new coat and all of the children are provided with new toys.
"So it is an opportunity for us to bless our neighbors and bless our city, and it's the biggest week of the year for us."

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