Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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November 27, 2013

A reason to give thanks

Kokomo Rescue Mission, Kokomo Urban Outreach to serve free meals.

Kokomo Rescue Mission and Kokomo Urban Outreach are teaming up to make sure everyone has a Thanksgiving dinner this week, whatever their circumstances this holiday.

KUO is serving Thanksgiving meals at 16 locations on Wednesday evening. KRM volunteers will help with that initiative, as well as deliver and serve meals on Thursday. Staff members expect to serve 2,600 meals this week.

“We want to make sure no one in the community feels like they have to be alone for the holidays,” said Sally Ripley, director of development for KRM.

The mission’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday at Grace United Methodist Church, located at 219 W. Mulberry St. Those affected by the Nov. 17 storm, and anyone who would like a free Thanksgiving meal, are welcome to attend.

Volunteers also will deliver meals to those who cannot make it to the banquet. Call 765-456-3838 to schedule a meal delivery or to volunteer to help serve meals.

Thanksgiving generally is a busy time of year for local nonprofits, and this year the demand is even greater after storms hit the Kokomo area on Nov. 17.

KRM is operating a Tornado Recovery Center, located at 500 E. Wheeler St., to provide food, hygiene items, cleaning supplies and other essentials to those whose homes were damaged in the storm. As of noon on Tuesday, the center had assisted 36 families.

On Saturday, volunteers visited 174 houses to distribute supplies. More than 375 people so far have donated their time to help with KRM’s tornado relief efforts.

“We’ve had a lot of volunteer help,” Ripley said. “We’ve had great community support with everything.”

The Tornado Recovery Center warehouse is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. It will be closed on Thanksgiving.

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