You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. Isaiah: Chapter 25, verse 4.
This great verse applies to the Lord being provider for all of our needs, and the Evansville Rescue Mission is very grateful to be a vehicle for sharing God’s provision and the Good News to not only the homeless, but the poor of our community as well.
Throughout the year, the Mission has the privilege to assist families living at or below the federal poverty line.
Each and every day, ANYONE can receive a hot meal at our Residence Center for either lunch (served at Noon) or dinner (served at 6 p.m.) and that includes holidays; particularly, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Besides daily meals, we offer the following measures for families in need:
- Annual Easter Community Dinner
- Gobbler Gathering
- Christmas Adopt-A-Family program
- Clothing Vouchers & Thrift Store
The Rescue Mission holds its Easter Community Dinner for the general public. Here, families (as well as our homeless guests) are treated with some great Easter food (ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, rolls and jello salad), soft drinks, a table filled with locally donated desserts, and a goodie bag filled with Easter treats. Even the Easter bunny makes a surprise appearance to visit and entertain our guests!
More than 300 meals are served by community volunteers for our Easter Community Dinner. More importantly though, our Easter dinner is a means to show we care for the community and to extend the love of Jesus to those in need.
By far, Gobbler Gathering Day has become the Rescue Mission’s staff’s favorite day of the year; so much so, we circle that date on our calendars.
So what in the world is the Gobbler Gathering? It’s an event almost as old as the Evansville Rescue Mission itself. It’s our annual Thanksgiving food basket giveaway for families in need which is held at the downtown Rescue Mission campus on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving Day.
Beginning in October, families, living at or below the federal poverty line, have the opportunity to visit the Mission to sign up to receive a Thanksgiving food basket. There, they are able to choose a worship service and distribution time convenient for their schedule.
On the day of the Gobbler Gathering, literally thousands of folks visit the downtown Rescue Mission campus as either a food basket recipient, a Mission staff or Board member, a community volunteer, or as a curious bystander.
During Thanksgiving food basket sign-ups, families in need have the opportunity to sign up to receive Christmas presents for their respective children. Families fill out a “wish list” to let us know what they are in need of the most whether it’s clothing, educational toys, or other needed items.
Once we gather up all of the sign-ups, the Rescue Mission approaches local churches, businesses, civic clubs and individuals to “adopt” a family as a sponsor. Depending on the need of a given family and the capacity of which a sponsor desires to give, a family is assigned to a sponsor (a sponsor can adopt multiple families as well). We then ask sponsors to bring their purchased presents, wrapping paper and name tags to the Rescue Mission so we can notify families to drop by to pick up their children’s gifts.
With housing costs, transportation, food and medical expenses increasing, it’s difficult to make ends-meat. As an extension of our services for families living at or below the federal poverty line, we provide clothing vouchers as well.
Here is how it works. Any family in need can visit the Rescue Mission’s administrative office (500 East Walnut Street, Evansville, IN 47713) between Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. to Noon and 1 to 5 p.m. There, they will be given a bar code card to have scanned at our thrift store (please click here for thrift store hours). By having their bar code card scanned, a family can receive up to $20 in clothing vouchers for their entire family every 90 days and can choose items from this clothing menu list.