ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Preparations started well in advance for the Capital City Rescue Mission’s Christmas celebration, which includes a chapel with carols, and a festive sit-down meal served by volunteers.

“This is a win-win for me. They do as much for me as I do for them,” said mission volunteer Dawn Turley. “but “I love spending the holidays here. Everybody’s like family—all the same volunteers are here every year and every holiday, so it’s very nice. Very nice! Makes you feel good.”

Takeout meals and gifts were available, too, so people who were struggling this holiday season, had fewer worries on Christmas Day.

“We have 3000 meals ready and we also have 4000 gifts ready,” said Perry Jones, the mission’s executive director. “It’s Christmas and we’re just thankful to serve and thank the community because you have made it possible for us to have thousands of meals and thousands of presents ready. And we don’t do it alone in the Capital Region.”

This Christmas was a cold one, too, with the city under a code blue alert. The shelter also stepped up for those trying to escape the freezing temps.

“Last night we were packed, and we have 273, 280 people that are here in our nine-building campus,” Jones said. “They’re great people. They’re here, they just need help—and so we’re code blue central. Thankful to be here for that and make sure everybody stays alive during some of the toughest weather the northeast can have.”