PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Has become an annual tradition of the Light of Life Rescue Mission to help those in need on Thanksgiving.
This year will be their first since moving to a new facility on the North Shore.
READ MORE: The man shot in the ankle in Homewood
The mission wanted to serve as many people as possible a traditional meal. They want to help any man, woman or child who is homeless or is dealing with addiction.
Last year was a little different for them, dealing with the pandemic, but they still made sure to deliver hundreds of meals safely.
This year seems to have gotten a little easier. Preparations started earlier this week and it’s all about working to make Thursday go smoothly.
Locally elected leaders such as Mayor Bill Peduto, Newly elected Mayor Ed Gainey and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald plan to serve the meals.
For volunteers like Don Waite, it’s the 3 a.m. alarm.
“I’m going to be a long day,” he said.
Almost immediately upon awakening, he remembered why he kept returning to the Northern Quest.
“I remember that every time I came here, I received blessings that outweighed the amount of work I put in,” says Waite.
He started helping making chickpeas in 1996. He’s since adopted the name “Green Bean Man” and hasn’t missed a single vacation since.
“That was 25 years ago. I’ve been doing Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter since then,” said the Green Bean Man. “It was an unbelievable stroke of luck.”
Waite is just one of nearly 100 volunteers who give up part of their Thanksgiving in order to receive more than 1,000 meals for those who might not have gotten it.
“We couldn’t exist without volunteers and we have so many people willing to give literally a few hours on their Thanksgiving to come down and serve those in need and we’re so grateful for that. that,” said Light of Life Development Director Doug Smith.
Some meals have been packed for 14 high-rises around the area and this is the first time the mission has been able to vacation at their new North Shore location.
“It’s beautiful! It’s a night and day difference from the old shelter. It’s just a beautiful setting,” Smith said.
Although Waite still has to work at the old facility on North Avenue, Thanksgiving Day is a work of love.
“It doesn’t matter where I work. It’s who we do it for and why we do it. That was the real luck in the whole thing,” Waite said.
The mission also distributed winter coats and cleaning kits in addition to free meals. Meals will be served from noon to 6pm
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/11/25/light-of-life-rescue-mission-free-thanksgiving-meals-2021/ Light of Life Rescue Mission Gives 1,000 free thanksgiving meals to those in need – CBS Pittsburgh