Photo by Douglas McGlynn

In preparation for Thanksgiving, Light of Life Mission compiled more than 400 baskets full of food and treats for those in need this holiday season.

By Douglas McGlynn

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that always bring out the best in people and the Northside is no exception.

Light of Life Rescue Mission in Allegheny West is currently preparing for a big Thanksgiving and is doing so with a plethora of volunteers.

This year Light of Life is hosting its annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet at the mission from 1-6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The banquet helps those in need during the holiday season.

In addition to the banquet volunteers will be delivering over 1,000 hot meals to 14 local high-rise buildings on Thanksgiving. The meals will include turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and dessert.

Light of Life Rescue Mission also partnered with local non-profit groups to fill over 400 laundry baskets with Thanksgiving foods. Baskets were prepared Monday, Nov. 24 and delivered to families in need later that day.

The baskets were designed to feed families and it is expected that over 1,600 meals will be served through this.

The banquet will also feature an outdoor tent where people can donate coats, hats, gloves, and other winter clothing for those in need of such items.

All of these initiatives wouldn’t be successful without the efforts of numerous volunteers. Fortunately finding volunteers hasn’t been a problem.

“The community response has been great,” Kate Wadsworth, public relations manager for the mission said. “Volunteer slots for everything going into this Thanksgiving have been filled for months.”

Volunteers met every Saturday from Oct. 11 to Nov. 8 in preparation for the banquet. The volunteers have prepared 120 turkeys to serve on Thanksgiving.

Light of Life will be hosting similar initiatives in the weeks ahead for the Christmas season. The mission is currently compiling a wish list of gifts for the needy in addition to the continuing winter clothing donation.

“This is our fourth year doing this,” Doug Smith, who works at Light of Life, said in regards to preparing the baskets. “The first year we only had around 100 baskets. This year we have over 400. It’s great.”

This year numerous donors and several churches helped Light of Life gather the turkeys, canned foods, and other materials that go into the baskets.

lol4Photo by Douglas McGlynn

Volunteers unload goods at the Light of Life Mission in Allegheny West in preparation for Thanksgiving. The mission will hold a banquet as well as distribute baskets will Thanksgiving fixin’s