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Water Street Mission gives back to community with Thanksgiving meals

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LANCASTER, Pa. -- Thanksgiving may be a time to spend with friends and family for some, but others aren't as fortunate. So one organization in Lancaster made it its mission to give those people a proper Thanksgiving meal.

Plate after plate of food was served to about 400 people at the Water Street Mission.

Colleen Adams with the Water Street Mission said, "Really honoring our guests in the year. The fact that we have linen tablecloths and a really nice seated meal is huge. Some of our guests have never had that in their lifetime."

Behind the scenes, students from York Technical Institute and local elected officials in Lancaster County dished out the traditional Thanksgiving food.

Carmen Morales, the kitchen manager, said, "If it ain't chaotic then that means we ain't doing what we have to do. We should all be getting on each others nerves and making a great meal at the very end."

And outside of the kitchen, visitors appreciate and cherish that meal.

Paul Pearce with Water Street Mission said, "It's great just to hear the conversation. Some laughter and to know that we're bringing happiness and joy to people's lives at this time when they may be away from family."

But guests say this community is their family.

Jim Costello of Lancaster said, "The holidays can be rough for everybody. But having family here helps. A lot of people come in, they don't have family or family nearby. They try to help everybody out that way."

Workers said they are excited to bring the satisfaction of a full stomach to hundreds of people.

Morales said, "We're open for the community. We do what we do for the community. We do it for the guests here, for the staff here and their families. It's one of the greatest things you can ever do to be a blessing to other people."

Mission volunteers will be giving out about 300 more meals Thanksgiving Day.