Hundreds of people enjoyed Easter Dinner at the Schenectady City Mission on Sunday afternoon. For Anthony Mayers, a worker at the mission, Easter Dinner at City Mission has a special meaning.
"I'm blessed to be working for them, I'm blessed to be volunteering for them, and I do men's ministry helping the guys that come in off the streets, coming out the road just to where I was," Mayers said.
Six years ago, he was in their shoes.
"The people that come in here to eat, you never can forget that you was the one sitting at this table and someone was serving you," Mayers said. "That's why I'm here to serve others."
And he's not alone. Hundreds of volunteers flooded the Mission throughout the week to help prepare for the holiday meal.
"We expect to serve over 600 meals to men, women, and children who live at the mission, and folks who come here in our community. That takes a lot of preparations," said Mike Saccocio, City Mission's executive director.
It was a community effort, with placemats made by fifth graders at Glen Wordon Elementary School, eggs in takeout containers decorated by a kids at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and Easter blessings written by donors for dinners. And that's not all.
"We have Easter baskets for the children; we also have a takeout station so folks can have leftovers tonight or tomorrow. They'll have bags with toiletry items, so we have a lot of goodies to share," Saccocio said. "Even more important than the food is the fellowship. And that's what's most important to us, is that we can gather and just be together and say, 'This is a special day' and 'This is a day for celebration,' as a community. So in a very real way, today everyone at City Mission is family."
Saccocio says they usually serve 600-700 meals daily at the Mission, but on Easter Sunday they will tally more than 1,000 meals. People also had a chance to attend a service prior to the meal.