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A father's dying wish: To help those in need on Thanksgiving

Open Door Mission provides Thanksgiving meals
Posted at 11:38 PM, Nov 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-27 13:26:23-05

OMAHA, Neb. — The pandemic did not deter Open Door Mission from their goal of feeding the homeless during Thanksgiving.

"We've actually expanded our holiday programs to meet the need. There's a 50 percent increase in food insecurity issues in our community," Open Door Mission president and CEO Candace Gregory said.

To keep things safe, only a minimal amount of volunteers were allowed in and everyone had to social distance.

"The only difference is that we are not able to serve everybody at one time because of social distancing and we're not able to open it up to the community," Gregory added.

One volunteering family helped out for the very first time this year, after a recent loved ones passing reminded them of why the holidays are so important. Mindy Rathe lost her husband unexpectedly back in September. She volunteered with her two children, 11-year-old Owen Rathe and 16-year-old Allie Hart, because it was the father's dying wish.

“The day he died Owen said 'Mom, Dad really wanted to help the homeless and he was giving money to feed them.' So I said this year since he’s not with us on Thanksgiving, why don’t we come down here and give our time and honor him," Mindy Rathe said.

A new tradition for this family, and an old tradition for the Open Door Mission of serving those in need.