COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— While local organizations are preparing to hand out Thanksgiving meals, Valley Rescue Mission is also looking ahead to Christmas.

“We anticipate feeding between 500 to 600 people during Thanksgiving season. So, we need turkeys, we need canned foods,” CEO and President of Valley Rescue Mission, Mike Gaymon, told WRBL.

With Thanksgiving a week away, Valley Rescue Mission is gathering supplies of turkeys, hams, canned foods, or cash. The non-profit is also gearing up for their first annual “Toys For Kids” drive.

“We have about 120 men and women in our program. When they’re in our program, they’re not earning a salary, but yet they have children,” Gaymon said. “So, we thought, ‘why don’t we give toys to the men and women in our program?’”

Valley Rescue Mission is accepting donations of toys at their location on 2nd Avenue. Folks can also make donations Dec. 3, at the Columbus Civic Center as 800 members of the Iron Cross Motorcycle Club will be revving up to donate their toys.

“[During] the holidays, a lot of needs become even more evident because there’s some people who really can’t afford toys for their children. There are some people who can’t afford a hot meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas,” Gaymon said. “So, it’s a great time, I think, for people to start reflecting, ‘I’m blessed. I have a lot to be thankful for. Let me give back.’ So, we talk about paying it forward. Thanksgiving, Christmas is a great time to pay it forward, help those who are in need.”

All of the toys not given during Christmas will be dispersed through their Women’s and Children’s home, passed out on birthdays and special occasions, or be place back into their thrift store where all of the proceeds will pour right back into funding their programs.

How to Help


Valley Rescue Mission’s location on 2nd Ave. (2903 2nd Ave.) is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Donations can be made at that time. They are looking for the following items:

  • Hams
  • Turkeys
  • Canned food items
  • Toys


The Mission is also searching for Thanksgiving drivers as they plan to distribute more than 120 meals to members of the community outside of their programs.

“During Thanksgiving, we’ll take food to people who call in to say, ‘I need a hot meal,'” Gaymon said. “So, we also have a few will Meals on Wheels where we will distribute probably a 75 to 100 meals to people who call in and say, ‘I need a hot meal.'”

Anyone interested in delivering meals with Valley Rescue Mission is asked to call: (706) 322-8267.