If someone asked Gregory Rowe, of Tyler, a little over a year ago where he’d be spending his time around Thanksgiving, helping serve others in need of food may have been one of his last guesses.
In June 2016, he was battling alcoholism and entered into the New Discipleship Recovery Program, a 10-month, Christ centered recovery program at Hiway 80 Rescue Mission.
He completed the plan and is now in the mission’s Leadership Training Program. He leads a Bible study group and helps men who are in a similar situation as he once was.
On Wednesday, he was part of a group of staff and volunteers with the mission who served hundreds of people Thanksgiving meals. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, organizers expected to have served around 1,100 meals in Tyler and Longview.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Rowe, who greeted meal attendees at the West Erwin Church of Christ’s Benevolence Center. “I’m taking time to talk with them and let them know their value.”
Attendees celebrated Thanksgiving during a meal of turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie and more.
Dawn Moltzan, Hiway 80 Rescue Mission’s Tyler director, said the mission views the meal as a great opportunity to help those in need have a nice Thanksgiving meal.
She said the meal is a way to build relationships with those who attend and let them know about the services the mission offers.
“We’re just excited to see them here,” she said.
Enjoying the meal with a group of friends, Makayla Maykuk said she was thankful for the meal and counted it as a blessing.
“Some of us wouldn’t be able to eat lunch today if it wasn’t for this meal,” she said.