Panama City Rescue Mission hosts community Thanksgiving meal
"It's a whole lot different than this time last year," Panama City Rescue Mission president Stephen Fett said.
Last year, Thanksgiving brought feelings of uncertainty for some Panama City residents. One year later, the Panama City Rescue Mission wanted to make sure this time around those feelings were different.
"[It's] the kindness, compassion, and caring of others that allow us to connect and feel as if we're all part of one community," Fett said.
Rosenwald High School's doors were open for anyone who needed a meal.
"People are struggling, they don't have families to go to and don't have homes, so even just this could help them feel like they have a home," volunteer Jessie Crowder said.
Volunteers saw the importance of helping others over the holidays.
"I think that's one thing this country needs to do, is come together and support each other and build community because that's how you move forward successfully. That's one of the things I've seen since living in Bay County is people are stepping up and helping each other and kind of getting outside their comfort zone to do that," volunteer David Crosby said.
Neighbors sat side by side, table by table, sharing old memories and making new ones.
"We are so much better together than we are even individual. When we combine our forces, we can overcome anything even a hurricane with a category five tag on it," volunteer Catriese Johnson said.
Fett also said 26 different businesses and churches donated or cooked food for the community meal.
Whether it was over a slice of turkey or a piece of pumpkin pie, the Panama City Rescue Mission made sure to bring the community together for Thanksgiving.