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Utica Rescue Mission Feeds Thousands This Christmas

For many, Christmas is a time for family, food and gifts. But for some, right here in the Mohawk Valley, the holidays can be tough and even lonely. So, in the true spirit of giving, a local rescue mission is preparing to feed thousands in the community.
For many, Christmas is a time for family, food and gifts. But for some, right here in the Mohawk Valley, the holidays can be tough and even lonely. So, in the true spirit of giving, a local rescue mission is preparing to feed thousands in the community.
At the Rescue Mission in Utica, volunteers are preparing for a huge Christmas Day. They say they'll be preparing over 1,000 meals to make sure everyone in the community has some hot food in their belly on Christmas.
"We have been given so much, it's time to give back,” said Bill Kablack from Hamilton.
"God has been so good to us, Christ has called us to serve and that's why we're here,” says his wife Sue Kablack.
The Kablacks volunteer at rescue missions every Christmas. They say giving back has opened their eyes to needs in their own community.
"If we look up and down and all around, we're apt to see something that we haven't seen before and it may just be somebody that you notice needs help,” said Kablack.
It’s this type of compassion that fuels volunteers at the Rescue Mission. They’re expecting to feed more people than ever this year.
"We're going to have a thousand meals done, at least a thousand meals, probably 650 will go out for deliveries and we'll serve 350 meals right here in our dining hall, the numbers seem to increase every year, I’m saying a thousand now, we could be up beyond a thousand,” said Ernie Talerico, Director of Operations for the Rescue Mission.
One of the busiest places for volunteers at the rescue mission is the kitchen, they're cooking and preparing over 100 donated turkeys and that's not even the half of it.
"Close to 500 pounds of bread pulled for stuffing and probably about close to 500 pounds of potatoes that we're going to be cooking and peeling tomorrow,” said Dale Litz, Food Service Director of the Rescue Mission.
All of the food is donated, just like the volunteers' time.
"We have an opportunity here at the rescue mission to show god's love and that's what the real meaning of the holiday season is all about,” said Litz.
"It really makes their day, you know instead of a lonely Christmas they get a nice hot meal, they get to see a nice friendly face,” says Willie White who works in the kitchen of the Rescue Mission.
To make things a little easier for the rescue mission, Charlie’s pizza is donating an entire spread of food and feeding over 150 people so that volunteers and workers can focus on the big Christmas meal.

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