South Side Mission delivers to thousands

By Audrey Wise

November 28, 2013 Updated Nov 28, 2013 at 7:33 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- South Side Mission meals are a Thanksgiving tradition for so many in Central Illinois, for those receiving them, and those volunteering to make it all happen.

Each year the South Side Mission delivers meals to people across central Illinois that requested them. Those people include the elderly, home-bound, handicap or poor.

This year 2,700 meals went out, but not without the help of an army of volunteers.

"We have 500 volunteers, give or take, participating, 300 families, for sure, will be delivering meals all over the area," said South Side Mission spokesperson Meg Newell.

"It makes you feel good. It's easy, it's fun," said volunteer Ann Rowbotham.

Thursday morning she delivered meals to residents of Parkview Estates in Peoria.

Rowbotham said, "Some of these people that you deliver to, they look forward to it. I think a lot of it is just social time for them. They want somebody to talk to, even if it's just for five minutes."

And as long as there is a need, the volunteers at the South Side Mission will continue to put a smile on people's faces and a warm meal on their table for holidays to come.

"Thanksgiving in the absence of a large family can be a very lonely day, so we are very pleased to be a part of their day," adds Newell.