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On Thursday night and Friday a meal fit for a king was being prepared as volunteers helped the Durham Rescue Mission prepare for its annual holiday feast.  As volunteers worked through the night to prepare for Friday’s holiday feast with all the trimmings, over 100 turkeys were on the grill.

The opportunity to help others is a tradition for many volunteers.

According to WRAL News Ernie Mills, Jr., who started the organization with his family said “It’s very special to us to see the children getting toys, because my father and I never got toys as children. So many families here in Durham are struggling to make ends meet — they are using everything they make to pay bills and there’s not enough for Christmas for the children.”

Volunteer Tony Dillard also spoke with WRAL News saying “For us, it’s a chance to get to spend time, it’s a chance to get to help and it’s a chance to train others to get them to take over for us. We have people who have gotten interested in what we did once. Now, they do this five, six, seven, eight, nine years now.”

For over 10 years, Dillard and other volunteers have been putting together the holiday feast. Some of the volunteers even include Durham police officers.

On Friday, the volunteers hope to feed over 4,000 families and give away thousands of toys.

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