Begin the giving season with Rescue Mission Ministries

Between Drumstick Dash, Thanksgiving Day Feast and Coatsgiving there’s no shortage of ways to give back

The Roanoke Rescue Mission is asking the community to donate clean and warm coats.

ROANOKE, Va. – Thanksgiving is already less than a week away.

This Thanksgiving, while you’re preparing for the big day with family, remember those in need.

This time of year is a big season for Rescue Mission Ministries, a crisis intervention center in Roanoke.

One of the biggest events that is keeping Rescue Mission so busy right now is its annual Drumstick Dash. The 5K is a popular Thanksgiving tradition for families and the center’s biggest fundraiser.

An expected 15,000 people will be in Downtown Roanoke Thursday morning either running or walking, cheering or volunteering.

All the money made goes to Rescue Mission’s food budget.

Slots are still open to run and volunteer.

Kevin Berry, the community outreach director for Rescue Mission believes this event represents what Thanksgiving is all about.

“It’s about community, it’s about family and when we think it about it we’re all family, we''re all connected in some way and we want to make sure we look out for everyone and that’s what we do when we bring in all the revenue from this race.”

The deadline for online race registration is midnight Saturday, November 23.

The 5K only has about 60% of the volunteers they need. If you and your family are interested in volunteering email or

The Rescue Mission is also hosting a Thanksgiving feast at noon Thanksgiving Day.

You could spend the holiday giving back to those in need in your community.

The center hosts daily meals cafeteria-style, but Thanksgiving is the one time they do restaurant-style and encourage people to interact on a more personal level. Because of that, the feast needs about 150 to 180 volunteers.

Volunteer coordinator Karl Stewart said, “With those volunteers, we’re able to greet the people when they come in, we’re able to serve the food, we’re able serve the desserts -- lots of cakes and lots of pies. The biggest thing is there’s enough people to interact with the people coming in to make it a special day even for the Rescue Mission.”

If you can’t give your time, Rescue Mission is also asking the community to donate homemade desserts.

This feast is also at about 60% of its volunteer goal. If you want to volunteer email or

Another big event Rescue Mission is juggling is Coatsgiving, its annual coat drive.

The Roanoke Rescue Mission is asking the community to donate clean and warm coats.

Rescue Mission is asking the community to look through their closets to donate clean and warm coats.

The need is for as many coasts as possible and all sizes, especially plus and kids sizes.

Berry says, “The reality is individuals that can’t afford a coat they’re not going to wear it and when they can’t wear it they’re going to get sick if they go out of the cold and that can snowball into so many bills for somebody in poverty they’re really hard to pay for.”

Rescue Mission is collecting Jackets until the end of February. To donate stop by the main offices in Roanoke or its donation center across the street.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.