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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Rescue Mission is continuing their Thanksgiving tradition by feeding the homeless.

Thanksgiving is a time to be surrounded by family and friends but that’s not always possible for some people. That’s where the Miami Rescue Mission comes in. It makes sure that everyone has somewhere to go to give thanks and enjoy a good meal.

Six hundred volunteers at the Miami Rescue Mission and its Broward Outreach Centers in Hollywood and Pompano Beach are feeding thousands of people this Thanksgiving.

They have prepared 340 turkeys, 900 pounds of potatoes, 900 pounds of green beans, 900 pounds of stuffing, 225 pounds of cranberry sauce, 450 pieces, 45 gallons of gravy, 3,000 dinner rolls and 6,000 bottles of water and soda.

“I think it’s going to be great this year,” said head chef Calvin McFadden aka Big Mac. “We had Hurricane Irma this year and a lot of people are down and things just didn’t go that well and we’re feeding people here every day and they’re happy to come here today to get a meal because that’s what it’s all about, helping someone else out and feeding them.”

Calvin’s story is special, though, because he was once on the other side of the line, receiving food.

“I came here as a drug addict. I got my life back together. I found Christ in my life again. It’s just been a wonderful thing and I enjoy my 15 years of working here,” he explained.

It is a story of redemption full of Thanksgiving, which is something very similar for David Campbell, aka Baby Mac, who is next in line as head chef.

“I’m at a loss for words man, it’s just an overwhelming experience,” Campbell said. “I’m smiling before when I came here, I wasn’t happy as I am now. I found the light at the end of the tunnel by coming here. I got Mrs. Brummit, Mr. Brummit, I got Mac, I got the kitchen staff here and I got the staff that’s behind me as well.”

This is Calvin’s last Thanksgiving service here but serving is engrained in him and he will take that wherever he goes.

“I’m going to continue to start a feeding ministry and I’m gonna continue to help people because that’s what I’ve been doing all my life but the mission just brought out the best in me,” said Calvin.

Thursday’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet also includes an Outside Block party, where clothes and hygiene products are given away to families in need as well as services such as haircuts, medical education and checkups.

Rev. Ron Brummitt, President of Miami Rescue Mission & Broward Outreach Centers, said of the festivities, “I am so excited that we are able to provide a great Thanksgiving meal to the homeless, hungry and needy families of South Florida on our three campuses. Thanksgiving is a time to realize what you have in this world and give a little extra to someone else who is less fortunate.”

The next big celebration at the mission will be on December 24.

Click here for more information about the Caring Place at Miami Rescue Mission.

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