Albany Rescue Mission brings Christmas to homeless - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Rescue Mission brings Christmas to homeless

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December 21, 2007

Albany -- In a small crowded chapel in downtown Albany, a group of men and women come together to celebrate Christmas. And for many in this group this is as good as it gets.

"It's a depressing time for some. It's tough on the holidays because some of them can't go back to their families. And some of them it would be detrimental for them to go back to their families because that's were the problems are at," said the founder of the Albany Rescue Mission, Brother Larry Hample.

The Albany Rescue Mission is doing what they can to keep the homeless off the streets.

"It's 12 weeks of bible study, followed by graduation. And then they go out, get jobs, start to carry their own weight, save their money to pay rent, and get ready to go back into society," said Hample.

When conditions on the streets become tougher, the Albany Rescue Mission will do what they can not to turn anyone away.

"We get what we call the hardcore and sometimes we have them sleep on pallets or sometimes we open the chapel when it gets very cold," said Hample.

But they don't do this alone. Friday night, volunteers from Ivey's Outdoor and Farm Supply brought gifts to the mission.

"About seven or eight years ago we took it upon ourselves to come over and start doing for the homeless," said Ivey's Outdoor and Farm Supply Manager, Chris Kandrick.

"There bringing gifts to all these men and women here and we are talking 40 almost 50 people, and this is their Christmas," said Hample.

"During the service you can see it on their face that they are pleased and happy and its worth it," said Kendrick. 

Their efforts bring smiles to countless faces who otherwise would all be alone this holiday.

The Albany Rescue Mission serves 7,000 meals a month. The demand increases during the holidays. You can help the Albany Rescue Mission here.

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