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City Union Mission hosts early Thanksgiving dinner for those in need

Guests at City Union Mission
Posted at 10:50 PM, Nov 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-22 00:17:02-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thanksgiving has always been about feeding more than the person, it’s about feeding the soul.

That's been the mission of the City Union Mission in Kansas City, Missouri.  

"You see joy in a lot of cases," said Karl Ploeger, City Union Mission’s chief development officer. "We want people to feel loved, we want them to feel cared for."

The early Thanksgiving dinner City Union Mission hosted Tuesday night helps its participants connect with family.

“This is the biggest family I've had so far," participant Jeff Haley said as he looked around the room.

For some, the group on Tuesday is their family.

The early meal really is their Thanksgiving.

“It helps us out. It boosts our ego, it builds us up and makes us better people," Haley said.

Jeff Haley's been with the program to help those struggling with homelessness for three months.

He says it isn't always easy.

"I mean on the streets, some people overlook them, they pass by them. Some don't even acknowledge them,” Haley said.

It is tough and there aren’t many bright moments, but Tuesday's meal is something to be thankful for.

"They're bringing food to them and making them special,” Haley said. “We are all thankful for it."