Downtown Rescue Mission gives thanks to community for a blessed year

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Many in our community are thankful for the Downtown Rescue Mission, a place that gives rest and food to hundreds of people every day. But this Thanksgiving especially, the mission said they have a lot to be grateful for too.

"We've been tremendously blessed," Food Operations Director John Niemeyer said while describing the past year. "North Alabama is a special place because you have a lot of people who care about each other, you have a lot of people who have a servant heart."

It's that graciousness that gives hope to the hopeless. That's the heartbeat of the Downtown Rescue Mission.

"It's really important that we meet both the physical needs of everyone," Niemeyer said. "People can't do anything if they're hungry, or if they're thirsty, or if they're cold."

This year, the walls of the dining hall presented another opportunity for optimism. Local artist Logan Tanner is creating eight faith-based murals on each panel inside the dining hall.

"It's really important for us to both feed people physically but also spiritually," Niemeyer said. "It's really important to create a space that instills that feeling of hopefulness when you come through here."

The mission's staff stays hopeful too. Thanks to a large donation as a result of the Chili4Charity event in October, the mission was able to afford some replacement kitchen appliances.

"With our equipment in our kitchen, we've been able to take big strides thanks to several of the corporations around the area, especially Keller Williams," Niemeyer said. "I've been here for just over two years, the amount of outpouring and support from food donations has been much greater, magnitudes greater than it's been since I've been here."

While food donations are plentiful, the mission is still in need of hygiene items, cleaning supplies and baby care items. They are always grateful for any monetary donations they receive as well.

If you would like to help support the mission's outreach, visit

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