Gospel Mission will still host Thanksgiving but it will look different due to COVID-19

Thanksgiving at the Mission

The Kelowna Gospel Mission's massive Thanksgiving dinner will still happen this year, however, it will look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mission's Executive Director Carmen Rempel tells Castanet that staff are eager and excited for another Thanksgiving.

"Fall changes the seasons at our shelter just like everywhere else," she says. "We're really looking forward to our big Thanksgiving dinner that's coming up which is a great opportunity to engage with the community every year, although it will look a little bit different this year."

"Of course all of our residents here at the shelter are going to be getting the full meal deal with turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, it's going to be a fantastic day."

This year, staff will be preparing 20 turkeys and 15 hams.

"For the community, there's going to be a back door drive-by Thanksgiving meal handout for those who register in advance," says Rempel. 

And looking ahead, the Mission is hoping to raise funds for a much-needed proper food truck.

"Because we're serving all of these meals to people living out on the streets and we're doing it from the back of our minivans right now, we're going to be raising funds to buy our own shiny food truck, to be able to help with this essential service," says Rempel.

Staff and volunteers head out every day to serve three meals at Recreation Avenue, Metro and the Queensway bus loop.

"I find myself incredibly grateful. I find myself thankful. We have an incredible group of volunteers. We have staff that are some of the most incredible human beings on the planet and they give and serve every single day despite really crazy challenges and they do so with happy hearts," says Rempel.

With the cold weather ahead, warm clothing donations are in high demand.

"If people are wanting to donate cold-weather clothing like jackets and gloves, they could direct those straight to our thrift store where they'll process them, hold them for a time because of COVID and then get them out to where they need to go," says Rempel.

The thrift store is located at 125 Roxby Road. Those wanting to support the purchase of the Mission's new food truck can make an unspecified monetary donation online.

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