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Capital City Rescue Mission serves up Christmas tradition

December 25, 2017 11:21 PM

ALBANY -

“In the hard times today this is beautiful for them to have the mission for people like us that can use it,” said Jovon Thompson. 

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If not for the Capital City Rescue Mission, thousands of people in the Capital Region may not have a warm Christmas meal, including Thompson.
 
“There's like a lot of you know people that's in need,” she said. 

That includes Thompson’s granddaughters. 

“The meat is so good,” said one of Thompson’s granddaughters, Leanna Stanford. 

“Every time I'm having food it gives me joy,” said Leanna’s sister, Danielle Stanford. 

Christmas meals at the mission also come with gifts. 

For many people, including the homeless or those in need, visiting the mission on Christmas Day is tradition.

“Some families can do this often for their tradition,” said Thompson’s other granddaughter, Dominique Stanford. 

“And the kids get to get out and see it's nothing to be ashamed of for free stuff,” Thompson said. “We do it as a tradition.”

A nearly 30-year tradition for Thompson. 

Curtis Klope is a long-time volunteer. 

His 9-year-old daughter, Sydney, will soon have the same title.

“We do it every year so it's kind of normal,” Sydney said. 

“Our faith is something that kind of gives us a desire to be out helping people and not just doing things for ourselves,” Klope said. 

Mission staff said their Christmas Day operation would not be possible without volunteers like the Klopes.

“I bet you there's 200-300 volunteers that are involved with this Christmas program,” said Capital City Rescue Mission Executive Director Perry Jones. 

The volunteers served about 3,5000 people in need Monday.  

That number seems to keep growing. 

“Homelessness has actually gone up about 10, 15 percent for us,” Jones said. “Cost of housing is up. The opiate epidemic has too crazy. So we see a lot of brokenness.”

The mission's mission on Christmas is about more than free food and presents. 

“Make people who are homeless or needy, give them a home for holidays, pick up their spirits, give them a show of the love of god,” Jones said. 

Mission accomplished.

“People do care,” Thompson said. “People still do care for people.”

“This part of my Christmas feast is wonderful and I'm thankful for this wonderful day,” Danielle said. 

The Capital City Rescue Mission has been serving the community for 68 years

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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