LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thanks to the help of hundreds of volunteers, Wayside Christian Mission in downtown Louisville opened bright and early Thanksgiving morning to begin serving hearty meals to people in need. 

The morning meal featured traditional breakfast favorites like bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, biscuits and gravy. Organizers estimate that they'll have served at least a thousand people by the end of the day. 

A day earlier, Chief Operating Officer Nina Moseley was worried that there might not be enough staff and volunteers, but everyone has come through.

"It's great," Moseley said. "I think everyone's having a good time. They're being well treated, and I think they'll enjoy it."

Wayside isn't forgetting about the people who choose to stay on the street on Thanksgiving. 

"We want to make sure that everyone outside is fed as well," Moseley said. ""So they've packed up some beautiful to-go boxes with everything in it, everything they would want. A beautiful breakfast."

Volunteers like Mary Posey told us they enjoy helping others and find it rewarding. "It's a blessing today to come out and serve," she said. "It is a blessing."

It's not the first time Posey has spent her Thanksgiving serving others. "I wasn't here last year, but I was here a few years ago. It's always enjoyable to come out and serve and help someone that's less fortunate. And that's what we're supposed to do."

Richard Rosa agrees. He helped get everything in place on Wednesday, and says he has been organizing items on the day before Thanksgiving for 15 years. 

"I usually come the day before Thanksgiving," Rosa said. "I come in here and help straighten up their pantry. There is a certain degree of happiness to be able to do this."

Another volunteer, John Swan, says he felt compelled to donate his time because he feels he owes Wayside Christian Mission a debt of gratitude.

Wayside Christian Mission volunteer John Swan

Pictured: John Swan helps prepare Thanksgiving meals at Wayside Christian Mission in downtown Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 24, 2022. He says he feels compelled to volunteer after they helped him turn his life around. 

"When I first came, I came to their drug program and they gave me my life back," Swan said. "I'm grateful to them so I come as often as I can to volunteer."

It's never too late to volunteer -- the shelter was still looking for volunteers as of Thanksgiving morning. 

"We would love to have volunteers," Moseley said. "They just need to bring their picture ID, stop in and go through the orientation. It takes about five minutes. And then we can put them to work."

Hotel Louisville is located at 120 West Broadway in downtown Louisville. 

Wayside served about 2,000 Thanksgiving meals in 2021.  

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