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Charlotte Rescue Mission Seeks 4,000 Turkeys For Families In Need

Thanksgiving Food Box 2020 (004).jpg
Charlotte Rescue Mission
Here's a sample food box with items requested by the Charlotte Rescue Mission for its 2020 Turkey and Food Box Drive.

The Charlotte Rescue Mission is seeking 4,000 frozen turkeys and other donated food items to distribute to families in need for its annual Turkey and Food Box Drive.

The turkeys must be frozen due to health and safety reasons, and the nonprofit is requesting turkeys that weigh 12 to 15 pounds.

The organization also asks that people who are interested in assembling food boxes email pam.beam@charlotterescuemission.org for an exact list of needed items.

Donations can be dropped off at the Charlotte Rescue Mission — Rebound at 907 W. First Street, Charlotte, NC, 28202 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. through Nov. 24.

The Charlotte Rescue Mission has been holding the annual food drive for the last eight years. The organization's president and CEO, Tony Marciano, says the need is especially critical this year because so many people have lost work in the hospitality, restaurant and entertainment industries because of the coronavirus.

"This is a way to say I know your finances are ridiculously tight. You'll still have a memorable Thanksgiving Day courtesy of the great people of the city of Charlotte," Marciano said.

The Charlotte Rescue Mission is a Christian nonprofit that runs two recovery shelters for people struggling with addiction, many of them homeless. It also operates the Community Matters Cafe on West First Street, staffed by program participants.

Like many nonprofits, the Charlotte Rescue Mission has taken a financial hit during the pandemic. Marciano says the organization's annual fundraising gala typically raises about $300,000, but this year's had to be converted into a virtual event and only raised about $100,000.

The organization has also had to limit the number of program volunteers allowed into the shelters and slow down the process of admitting new participants because of COVID-19.

"So yes, this is having an impact on us, and we're trying to figure out how to navigate all that," Marciano said.

The organization did hold two drive-in movie nights in June at the Charlotte Motor Speedway that Marciano said helped raise additional funds.

The mission also briefly closed the Community Matters Cafe in April because of coronavirus restrictions. However, Marciano said the organization formed a partnership with Freedom House Church and other local parishes that allowed program participants to keep making meals to distribute to first responders while the cafe was closed. The restaurant has since resumed normal operations.

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