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Fred Jordan Mission honors 'Father Dollar Bill'

November 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
In honor of the Rev. Maurice Chase, known as "Father Dollar Bill," Fred Jordan Mission handed out dollar bills to the first 500 guests at Thursday's thanksgiving feast, continuing Chase's decades-long tradition.

Chase died Sunday at the age of 92. He was well-known for his dollar-bill giveaways to homeless and poor downtown residents during the holidays.

Wednesday night, volunteers and staff began cooking more than a ton of turkeys with all the trimmings for the thousands of needy people who were expected to attend Thursday's celebration.

The feast marks the Mission's 68th annual Thanksgiving meal. This year, the Mission had to pay for the holiday feast out of its own coffers because the economy is down and donations have dried up.

"This has been a tough year here on Skid Row. Our donations have dropped dramatically, maybe as much as 40 percent, and yet at the same time, we're seeing so many more people. We have got a lot of things at the mission, but food is still No. 1," said Willie Jordan with the Mission.

Jordan said the Mission prepared food for about 2,500 people, which is a thousand more than last year.

Those getting a Thanksgiving meal said they were very grateful for what the Mission is doing.

Mission officials said although they had to pay for the feast in credit due to a lack of funds, they have faith in God that the donations will be there when the bill arrives.


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