The Atlantic City Rescue Mission will open its doors this week to a serve Thanksgiving meals to the poor and needy in south Jersey, but the charity offers plenty more than just a holiday meal.

"We just plow it there, we just have a big feast," said President Bill Southery, "we feast all the way through Christmas and through the new year."

The organization serves 9 southern New Jersey counties, offering help to the homeless with services such as food, shelter, clinics, work training, life skills, clothing, and even detox if needed.

"We're there to serve the poor and the needy of the state New Jersey," Southery explained, "We're there to help the people who are struggling and disenfranchised, and we're there to help anybody who needs our help."

On a yearly basis, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission helps more than 16,000 people in total services. They serve roughly 350,000 meals a year, and another 120,000 in their food pantries.

Southery feels that the group's work does not go unnoticed from the people they are serving.

"I think most of the people we serve are very grateful," he said, "They struggle greatly and all of them seem to very appreciative of our assistance and our help."

The charity, like anything else, has not been immune to the economic downturn. They operate on a budget of around $6 million, with close to 70% coming from donations. The state contributes close to 20% of the yearly budget. Despite these tough times, it has not stopped the mission from helping as many people as possible. It is always open-door policy.

"I don't care where you're at in the state of New Jersey," Southery said, "If you need help, come and we'll take care of you."


More Good News in New Jersey

Cub Scout Den 3, Pack 64 -- Bridgewater

The patients at Goryeb Children's Hospital got a big surprise on November 19. Thanks to the efforts of 37 Cub Scout Packs, including Cub Scout Den 3, Pack 64 out of Bridgewater, Goryeb patients received special teddy bears with personalized messages. The teddy bear project is part of a community service program called "Cub Scouts Care." The goal is to brighten the lives of children that are ill, and teach the Cub Scouts about the importance of community service. Cub Scout Pack 64 contributed 50 bears to the project.

2011 Turkey Drive -- The Community FoodBank of New Jersey

Thanks to the efforts of New Jersey volunteers, frozen turkeys and non-perishable food was collected for The Community FoodBank of New Jersey at nearly 40 locations throughout North and Central New Jersey on November 19. The donations will be used to provide a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and other holiday meals. A spokeswoman for the FoodBank says the need for food has risen by 40% in the past year. The FoodBank has distributed 39 million pounds of food to help feed 900,000 people in New Jersey, in the last year. If you want to help, donations can be made here online at here.