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      Former and current Rescue Mission guests and volunteers enjoy 125th anniversary block party

      The Rescue Mission welcomed over 2,000 people to its 125th anniversary block party on Gifford Street Saturday afternoon, including many former volunteers, workers, visitors and guests.Since January, Donald Richardson has held all of those titles, as he started his affiliation with the Rescue Mission when he had nowhere else to go.

      "I didn't know where my next meal was coming from," Richardson says. "For the first time in my life I didn't have a job, I had nothing."

      That's when Richardson went to the Rescue Mission looking for food and shelter, and ended up finding more than that. After a few weeks he became a part of the Mission's willing to work program, and turned some heads with his strong work ethic.

      "We just happened to have a staff opening," Steve Tennant, the Director of Facilities at the Rescue Mission says. "We said, 'Don's the man', he had already proven himself after three months with us, and we offered it to him and he slid right in and has done a magnificent job for us, I'm very proud of him."

      So, Richardson now works in maintenance for the Rescue Mission, creating a steady paycheck, and some confidence to boot.

      "The mission helped me out immensely," Richardson says."They changed my life, because I was really down on my luck, because I had no place else to go, so they helped me out a lot."