Providing a humbling service
Terry Hagaman, director of Grace of God Rescue Mission in Forest City, helps prepare and serve meals seven days a week for those less fortunate in the community.
On Thursday morning, Hagaman kept busy at the mission, carrying trays of hot turkey, scooping plates of stuffing and conversing with community members enjoying a free Thanksgiving meal.
"We have been preparing a Thanksgiving community meal here for at least 10 years now," Hagaman said. "There is a big need here in Rutherford County and we just want to help people have an enjoyable Thanksgiving."
In addition to serving meals to nearly 120 people every day, Grace of God Rescue Mission served more than 350 people last Thanksgiving.
"We also deliver several Thanksgiving meals to the disabled and those who don't have access to transportation," Hagaman said. "We go all across the county and as far as Mooresboro."
Grace of God's mission is to reflect the love of God by providing a safe haven for homeless men, women and children and to provide for the physical needs of the less fortunate individuals in the community while offering an opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The mission assists men, women and children with necessities including food, shelter and transportation, and also provides a drug rehabilitation program.
"The people who help run Grace of God and the women's and men's shelters are some of the greatest people on the planet," said volunteer Charlene Hollingsworth. "The way they serve others — there are no words to describe it."
Having volunteered with the mission's Thanksgiving meal since 2003, Hollingsworth spent her Thursday morning plating desserts, serving turkey and assisting fellow volunteers any way she could.
"Every year we have served hundreds of individuals and families on Thanksgiving," Hollingsworth said. "It's humbling to serve those who may be less fortunate."