DURHAM: Durham Rescue Mission brings Christmas to area's needy - WNCN: News, Weather

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Durham Rescue Mission hands out turkeys and toys for Christmas event

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Rob Tart, COO, Durham Rescue Mission Rob Tart, COO, Durham Rescue Mission

Volunteers began cooking 175 turkeys at 7 p.m. Monday night in preparation for the Durham Rescue Mission's Annual Christmas Community Dinner.

The Christmas dinner is the rescue's second-largest event of the year next to their Thanksgiving dinner.

Over 500 volunteers set up and served Christmas dinner to the area's homeless and less fortunate on Tuesday. Doors opened to the needy at 12 p.m.

Other events took place before, during and after the dinner. The Moravian Brass Band performed and Miss North Carolina, Johna Edmonds, helped with the toy giveaway.

Volunteers handed out toys, groceries, food and clothing to thousands of children and families.

Nine-year-old Lauren Sullivan was among those handing out toys. She collected 514 toys for the event.

"I wanted to help out," Lauren said. "I wanted to help kids because a lot of homeless kids, they don't have a lot of presents on Christmas."

Lauren's mother, Kristin Sullivan, said instead of presents and a party for her birthday -- which falls on Dec. 12 -- Lauren wanted to help out.

"She actually told me she wanted to feed the homeless and get a set of bongos," Sullivan said. "So mom and dad handled the bongos, and she handled the 500 toys for the Durham Rescue Mission."

The Rescue Mission had a shortage of toys for boys and girls ages 10-12, but thanks to last minute donations, it is in good shape.

During Tuesday's event, over 12,000 toys were given away to at-risk children and more than 8,000 articles of clothing and 1,500 bags of groceries were also handed out.

For more information, visit the Durham Rescue Mission's website.

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