Thanksgiving kicked off a little early for folks in Redding as the Good News Rescue Mission hosted it's annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet.
Hundreds of guests flooded the Mission for the banquet Wednesday.
“We will serve over 1,200 meals today,” said Good News Rescue Mission executive director Jonathan Anderson. “And then we have 500 individual dinners that we hand out to people they can take home and cook at their house for Thanksgiving day.”
The event has been a community tradition for more than 18 years.
This year more than 250 people volunteered to serve hot meals to those in need.
Adam Schwartz graduated from the Mission's New Life Recovery Program and now likes to volunteer to give back and show people that they too can overcome homelessness.
“And the Mission's where that started for me,” he said. “So it's awesome to be able to come back and show other people that that's possible.”
Organizers said it’s one of their busiest days and guests look forward to it year-round.
“It's like family,” Mission guest Luis Hernandez-Alvarez said. “Pretty much every single one make joy happen.”
Volunteers also served as table hosts, sitting and talking to guests to help foster a sense of togetherness.
“They're excited because they get to be around other people and just celebrate life and celebrate humanity in general,” Anderson said.
And while giving thanks and coming together is what Thanksgiving is all about, most people can agree it's all about the food.
“Oh my goodness,” Hernandez-Alvarez said. “Everything is amazing. The food is - everything is good.”