Thanksgiving reminds us to stop and take time to give thanks. If we stop long enough, perhaps we'll think about those who are less fortunate.
But for some people, helping others is a part of their daily lives no matter the season. The people at Old Savannah City Mission are those kind of thoughtful people.
For 16 years, Old Savannah City Mission has put together the annual Day of Great Thanksgiving, where they not only feed people in need, but also offer warm coats, socks, shoes and on-site counseling.
While the Old Savannah City Mission is a nonprofit serving men in the community with programs like Clean Start and Jump Start, "Anyone can come eat at the event; women, children and men," said Connell Stiles, director of development for the organization.
The event takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Old Savannah City Mission, 2414 Bull St., and will include a Coats for Compassion coat distribution, Heads Up Guidance Services for on-site counseling and Smart Feet's shoes and socks distribution.
"We plan to feed close to 1,000 people," Stiles said. "People can come at 10:30 a.m. to check out the donations available or ask for the counseling services.
"The meal will begin after the service with Father Steve Evans. The service begins at noon and usually lasts one hour."
Stiles has been with the group for more than seven years, and said her mission is to "save God's most precious creation, man himself."
"It's a wonderful feeling to know that because of our donors and support, we can actually offer a good, hot meal to individuals who normally would not get to have one. Many of them have no home or families to go home to. It's very humbling, but also very heartwarming to be a part of an event that brings such joy and to watch people get to celebrate a good, hot meal."
Stiles said her group still needs volunteers Nov. 20 and 21 to get the food prepared for the Nov. 22 meal.
And if volunteers decide they want to help out year-round, Stiles said she always needs help to sort clothing and other donated items in their warehouse.
Other nonprofit groups are also offering free Thanksgiving meals this holiday season. The Salvation Army will serve two dinners. The first will take place at 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, at its community center at 3000 Bee Road. The evening dinner will be served at 6 p.m. on the same day at the shelter at 3100 Montgomery St.
Savannah Feed the Hungry announced 10 different dinners will take place in and around Savannah from Nov. 24-27.
This is also the first time Feed the Hungry will provide a group meal in South Carolina, and all food preparation will take place Nov. 18-22 at Woodville Tompkins High School.
According to the Rev. Carl Gilliard, CEO of the Garden City-based nonprofit, each dinner will feed 3,000 to 5,000 people, so the group expects to feed at least 30,000 people during the week of Thanksgiving - a task the group has never performed before.
But Gilliard said he feels confident his group can pull off "this miracle."