Volunteers prep massive Thanksgiving meal for families on Skid Row

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It was a warm Thanksgiving eve for the Fred Jordan Mission as people slept in tents outside along Skid Row and volunteers inside prepared a Thanksgiving meal.

The volunteers prepped turkey, stuffing, candied yams and pies, among other turkey day favorites, for the men, women and children who will get the meals Thanksgiving Day.

It all started with Fred Jordan in 1944.

"He came down here and he saw that people out on the streets didn't have a chance to have a Thanksgiving meal with their family. So he thought, what better idea than to start having these events on the street," grandson Tommy Jordan said.

Tommy said about 1,000 volunteers lend a helping hand every year, and the ones this year have been working since Friday to prepare for the meal.

Kelly Butler is a medical student and braved a long drive in holiday traffic to offer assistance.

"I came here from the hospital in Orange County, zoomed straight up here up the 405 and now I'm here mashing stuffing," she said.

She said it's important to prepare a quality meal and that there is care going into making the food tasty for the families.

"I think that's a beautiful thing. They're treating the people who are eating these meals as family," she said.

Her uncle is the mission's chef and pastor, Darrell Hacket.

"I'm looking forward to seeing smiling faces enjoying the meal and giving God thanks for the meal that they've received," he said.

Tommy said that he's even seen people cry over how thankful they are just to have a full, hearty and hot meal.

The mission is already gearing up for Christmas and Tommy said anyone who can help may bring an unwrapped toy between Thanksgiving and Dec. 15.
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