Santa drops in at the Haven of Mercy

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) –The Haven of Mercy in Johnson City held its annual Christmas dinner and celebration today.

For around forty years, the Haven of Mercy has been feeding and taking care of some of the area’s less fortunate people. Thousands of people will have a hot meal today that might not otherwise thanks to the work of dozens of volunteers and workers from the Haven of Mercy.

Haven of Mercy Pastor Grant Rockley says the cooks have been preparing for days, “We’ve been working for nearly five days now, cooking outside, our cookers have ben going flat out, we’ve got people all over the place, it’s total chaos and it’s the best Jeses’ birthday ever today.”

Meals are not only available at the Haven of Mercy, but Rockley tells us that many meals are enjoyed elsewhere also, “We’ll have between 3,500 and 5,000 people eating, we’ve already served, sent meals down to the Unicoi Co. Jail and several of the apartment complexes with a lot of shut-ins, we’ve taken food there too. So we do between 3,500 and 5,000 people today.”

Bobbie and Danny Lewis have been volunteering at the Haven on holidays for nearly 20 years, “We love doing it, we don’t even bother to call because we’re always made welcome. We enjoy giving back to the community or whatever we can do for the Lord and this is just great, what they are doing here It’s wonderful and I just get a blessing every time I come and it’s just something that we just automatically do on Christmas. We enjoy doing it on Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Santa also paid a visit to the Haven of Mercy this afternoon, handing out toys to all of the children that were in attendance, the community donated hundreds of toys to be handed out today to those families and children that needed them.

Rockley told us that the Haven of Mercy would be serving meals today as long as someone came by and needed something to eat.

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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