Thanksgiving at the Rescue Mission, 2010
Nick St. Oegger

The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission opened its doors for its annual Thanksgiving meal. The Mission served a full holiday dinner from noon to 2 p.m., including apple and pumpkin pies, green beans, bread rolls, stuffing, 80 turkeys, and more than 50 pounds of potatoes. According to Food Service Manager Patrick Pastoret, an estimated 300 plus—“heavy on the plus”—people frequented the Mission’s dining hall.

“We started at noon, and this place was hoppin’,” said Rolf Geyling, the Mission’s president. “I’d like to think people feel the love.”

Nearly 50 volunteers clad in aprons, plastic gloves, and name tags served hot food, topped desserts with dollops of whipped cream, and waited on the hall’s eight dining tables. Volunteers included community members, company owners, and California Highway Patrol officers, and actor Billy Baldwin, Pastoret said.

The Thanksgiving meal was entirely donated, in part with contributions of food, and in part via money to purchase it.

“When you’re struggling with homelessness or poverty, the holidays come with a certain pain,” Geyling said. “We want them to experience love and grace.”


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