ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Carrots, sliced ham, and stuffing are all on the platter ahead of the holiday season. Even in the midst of a pandemic, the Capital City Rescue Mission continues to provide for those in need.

“We are here to be their home for the holidays and we have to be able to do it safely, yet we have to be able to do it,” said Executive Director Perry Jones. “They expect, just like we expect, to find some people who love us in our family. This is their family.”

With a Christmas dinner in sight, they’re expecting to serve over 2,000 meals. With the amount of the work that needs to be done, none of it would be possible without the help of their volunteers and donors.

“The time of the talent that they put in, the gifts that they do, even with the meals,” chief of staff, David Poach said. “Usually we give up to 3,000-3,500 gifts to our neighbors in the community and that’s just a blessing.”

For the Capital City Rescue Mission, preparations for holiday presents begin way back in October. The final count? Between 2,000 and 3,000 gifts. They’re full of toys, games, and clothing, all categorized by men, women, boys, and girls of all ages in the season of giving.

“Something as simple as making sure they have a few gifts to give their kids and put under the tree on Christmas morning is so huge,” Poach said. “We are blessed to see that and be part of that.”

During the winter, Poach says they see an increase of those who stay with them. No matter what time of year it is, the mission stays the same.

“It’s our job to kind of get them hooked up into housing, jobs, veteran services, mental health services and addiction services,” Poach said. “Whatever their need is, we are here to try and help them achieve that.”