Atlanta (WAOK) — Tuesday afternoon the Atlanta Mission, formerly Atlanta Union Mission, hosted a special event for over 300 men. The 2nd annual No Reservations Needed’ dinner, organized by Press Reset entertainment’s Shanti Doss, provided pre-Thanksgiving meals and free haircuts to those in need. During the meal, WVEE 103.3’s Big Tigger and WAOK 1380’s Derrick Boazman were broadcast live. “To have something like this today, it makes the people feel important, because they are important” said Michael Sheppard, director of the Shepherd’s Inn kitchen at the Atlanta Mission, on the significance of the event while speaking with Big Tigger.
Several celebrities and key figures from Atlanta stopped by to help pass out meals, including Young Jeezy, Ronnie Devoe of r&b group BBD, r&b group Silk and City Council President Ceasar Mitchell. “If I have an opportunity to help in the community, then I am going to do what I have do” said Devoe.
The Atlanta Mission began as a soup kitchen in 1938 and continues to provide meals to over 1100 people daily, serving over 800,000 meals last year alone. In 1969, Atlanta Mission became the first organization to offer aide to women and children, in addition to men, in the Atlanta area. Each person that enters the shelter is “offered over night housing, a change of clothes, shower and three hot meals” through out the day. In addition to these services, the Atlanta Mission provides “programs for people needing (addiction) recovery, programs for people who need a job and…transitional housing.”
The Atlanta Mission will serve Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday, November 27 in order to avoid competition with fellow outreach organization Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. “We don’t want to compete,” says Sheppard, “we want them to be able to have both blessings.” The Atlanta Mission plans to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday all weekend long. Thursday and Friday the shelter will provide a DJ along with games and activities and on Saturday night will host a movie night.
Written by Sherman H. Smith Jr (WAOK/Intern)