LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK)-  This Thanksgiving season is unlike what we experienced in 2020. Many East Texans are glad to celebrate together again.

On Wednesday, Hiway 80 Rescue Mission, a Women’s and Family Shelter located in Longview held a Thanksgiving dinner which was put together by local volunteers and staff.

“First, I want to give God all the praise, glory, and honor for allowing me to have shelter over my head”, shares Connie Spikes, a survivor at Hiway 80.

Last year during the pandemic, Hiway 80 had to change many of their plans and were short in volunteers. This Thanksgiving, Hiway 80 said that being able to have everyone together again and more volunteers serving, this holiday is truly a special one.

“Regardless of what we go through, struggle is struggle. Addiction is addiction. But, the Grace of God is what matters,” said Spikes.

The volunteers and sisters at Hiway 80 hold a special place in their hearts for this organization. Letting those in need know, they are loved and not alone.

Ruth Adams, a volunteer at the Rescue Mission shares that three generations of her family came to help serve.

“The emotion for me is that they are following in the footsteps of being humble and giving and their hearts are touched by others. This has meant so much to me that they are here with me and seeing this,” said Adams.

Hiway 80 Rescue Mission provides solace and hope in the face of abuse, addiction, or financial problems.

“One of the things I love most about Hiway 80 is the ladies come in and a lot of times, they’re strangers. They get to share their stories and talk about their experiences and they come out with these beautiful friendships that have happened in the most unexpected ways- a lot of times they encourage and pray for one another,” said the Director of Women and Family Services, Melissa Black.

Working to provide women and children a safe place to stay while aiding them to rebuild their lives.

“This year, I’m around wonderful and loving people and it’s like being at home where there is hope, joy, and peace,” said Catisha Rugley, a survivor at Hiway 80.

Hiway 80 Rescue Mission will be open on Thanksgiving Day and will be providing brunch for those in need.