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Santa Barbara Rescue Mission Needs Donations for Thanksgiving Feast

Turkeys, canned food and money will help the nonprofit serve hundreds of meals to the poor and homeless

The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is asking businesses and South Coast residents to donate turkeys, canned food and money in preparation for its annual Thanksgiving feast from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 24.

With the help of 45 volunteers, the Rescue Mission plans to serve more than 300 meals to the needy in its dining hall at 535 E. Yanonali St.

About 900 turkeys are needed for meals that will be served during the holiday season. The turkeys are cooked in advance. The Thanksgiving dinner will include mashed potatoes and gravy, pie and all the trimmings, according to Rebecca Wilson, the Rescue Mission’s communications director.

“On Nov. 24, more than 300 homeless and poor people will come ‘home’ to our dining hall for the Thanksgiving feast this year,” said Rolf Geyling, president of the Rescue Mission. “Isolated from their families, some struggling to cover emotional scars with drugs and alcohol, these lonely people are just searching for someone who cares.”

Donations may be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Yanonali Street office.

The Rescue Mission is the only organization from Oxnard to Santa Maria that provides hot meals and accommodations to homeless men, women and children 365 days of the year. It operates the longest and largest drug and alcohol treatment program on the Central Coast and offers men and women a 12-month residential recovery, outpatient treatment, family support, relapse prevention, sober living for men, academic instruction and job skills training.

Rescue Mission officials said the residential drug and alcohol program has a success rate that is five times higher than the national average of 10 percent.

Noozhawk business writer Ray Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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