HOLLAND, Mich. -- The Holland Rescue Mission is hosting their annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet at the Devos Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.
The rescue mission said that their goal is to offer a Thanksgiving meal to members of the community who can’t afford to provide one for themselves, making the entire event free.
"It's a way to bring volunteers, the community together. This is our Super Bowl of the rescue mission," said Darryl Bartlett with the Holland Rescue Mission.
With 178 tables in place, the mission is prepared to serve more than 1,400 guests.
"I think it's different in that it's not just a soup kitchen feel. It's not like here's your tray of food and you get up and leave once you've eaten. This is an hour they will spend together in conversation," said Martha Wing with the Holland Rescue Mission.
The Holland Rescue Missions also said that it plans all year for Wednesday night’s dinner, which requires nearly 500 volunteers.
Darryl Bartlett said that many people are unaware of the amount of people in Holland that rely on the mission.
"A lot of people know Holland to be this beautiful lakeside community. A lot of nice houses along the lake shore and that's true, it's a beautiful community, but just like any community across America, just underneath the surface there are many needs," said Bartlett.
Bartlett also said that about 30 percent of the people who come to the rescue mission are employed, but aren’t able to make a liveable wage to afford housing.
Making the event unique from others, organizers said that hosts at every table help encourage conversation and a family friendly environment, making guests feel at home.