(Photo: Courtesy of Bowery Mission)
For most Americans, Thanksgiving is a time of plenty, where tables are overflowing with all manners of foods and drinks.
The turkey often gets the prominent placing, along with mash potatoes, pumpkin pies, salads, cranberry sauce, and many other items that remind people of all they have available.
Yet for some, Thanksgiving is not a holiday of abundance but deprivation, where neither a food-filled table nor extended family are present.
Charities like the Bowery Mission of New York City step in during this time every year to provide thousands of meals to the less fortunate as well as shelter from the frigid weather.
James Winans, chief development officer at Bowery, told The Christian Post about what the 130+ year old charity would be doing for Thanksgiving.
"More than 600 volunteers will prepare traditional turkey dinners and serve more than 1,500 guests in the Mission's century-old chapel, decorated for the occasion. Meals will be served at 8:00am, 10:00am, 12:00 noon, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, and 7:00pm," said Winans.
"Volunteers will also deliver prepared food (for an additional 5,500 meals) to more than 25 partner churches or agencies in all five boroughs."
Winans also told CP that other than the meal "each guest will receive a new coat and a 'blessing bag' of winter clothes and hygiene items. Children will receive toys."
"Guests are welcome to return seven days a week for meals, shelter, showers, haircuts, clothing, medical care, optometric care, and referrals to other services," said Winans.
"Some guests will decide to join our residential programs, which last year served nearly 400 men and women who are regaining sobriety, reconnecting with family and faith, pursuing educational goals, and preparing for work and independent living."
Bowery Mission's annual Thanksgiving efforts are grand in scale, with last year's Thanksgiving involving over 382,000 meals and 46,000 clothing items.
"On Thanksgiving Day and every day, The Bowery Mission strives to offer God's unconditional love. When people come to us they're in crisis," said Winans to CP.
"But we love them anyway, no questions asked. By our actions, we hope to communicate to each person who walks in through our doors that he or she is God's creation and has infinite worth to God."