Skyland Restaurant, Rescue Mission Provide Free Thanksgiving Meals

CHARLOTTE, NC — Many of us spent this Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends, but there were many people across the area who had no place to go. Thankfully, two local businesses stepped up to make this Thanksgiving one to remember.

“Celebrate and be grateful,” says Charlotte resident Leroy Phillips. And that’s exactly what this holiday is all about. Of course, we’re all thankful for the food.

At Skyland Family Restaurant in south Charlotte, lines and lines of people wrapped around the building, anxiously awaiting a hot Thanksgiving meal.

“We’ve been working two, three weeks now, very hard to put this together,” says Skyland owner Jimmy Kakavitsas.

“We appreciate them having people like Skyland Restaurant to be able to accommodate people that may not be as fortunate as others,” says Charlotte resident Marie Collins.

The restaurant welcomed the homeless and people from out of town to feast on turkey and all the fixings–all for free.

“They don’t have to do it. It’s the kindness in their heart that do that,” says Phillips.

And more acts of kindness across town on this day of giving thanks.

“We’re trying to make this the most elegant dining experience in Charlotte on Thanksgiving Day” says Tony Marciano, President and CEO of Charlotte Rescue Mission.

The Charlotte Rescue Mission opened its doors bright and early Thursday to feed thousands of people searching for food, comfort and hope.

“We have worked hard to turn Charlotte Rescue Mission into going to your grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving Day,” says Marciano. “In a sense we’re expanding the circle, and we’re saying to them, ‘You’re now a part of us.'”

From the pies and cakes, to the turkey and mashed potatoes, meals served up fit for a king or queen.

“White table cloths, long-stemmed goblets, cloth napkins, and all the volunteers dressed the way I am: black pants, white shirt, black tuxedo bow ties,” says Marciano. “It’s more than the food, it’s more than the turkey and mashed potatoes. Everything we do is by showing dignity and respect and God’s love to people who may feel like they’re on the outside looking in.”

The Charlotte Rescue Mission cooked more than 140 turkeys to serve the public. And this is the 12th year Skyland Restaurant has served free meals to the public. They give away 3,000 boxes of turkey dinners every year.