Monday's bonus was Thanksgiving dinner for the scores of hungry people who filed through the door at New Life Mission.
For those who've been taking time out from the holiday for years to help provide the special meal, a Thanksgiving bonus came in the form of extra help.
Donations and a caring community are key ingredients to New Life Mission's annual offering to street people and others who wouldn't otherwise enjoy the traditional feast, including a slice of pumpkin pie.
Midday on Monday, hungry folks began lining up outside the mission. Within minutes of the door opening, more than 100 people were savouring generous helpings of traditional fixings.
Community food donations came through again, providing 20 turkeys and four large hams for the meal, said Terry Butcher, outreach manager for the mission.
"We find that we go until we either run out of people or we run out of food," he said as volunteers whisked plates from kitchen to table.
A few days earlier, Butcher wasn't sure they'd have enough help. Only a dozen volunteers had signed on, so word went out Friday through media outlets that they were short of volunteers for the team effort on Monday.
The last-minute plea worked like a charm. Forty-two volunteers turned up.
Sheri Lysons of Chase heard the call and brought out six others, including three of her five kids and her girlfriend's family. With her mom cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, she saw an opportunity.
"We just decided to come out," Lysons said. "We've had struggles, strife and hard times. We are truly blessed and wanted to do something more."
The mission has a team of perennial helpers who can always be relied upon, but the extra help was appreciated for a particularly busy occasion.
Wilfrid Michel has been volunteering for the dinner for 10 years, so he appreciated the reminder. He's proud of having passed a food safety course with flying colours.
"I thought it was a good idea," he said.
"This is beautiful," Butcher said. "It's great that people would give up their Thanksgiving holiday to come help us out."
Mike Damian's family lives in Alberta and going home for Thanksgiving dinner isn't an option.
"My street friends are my family," he said. "I've lived in jail all my life."
He's been out for 141/2 months, though, and he's proud of that achievement.
The mission tries to ensure that it's free meal service is supplementing rather than duplicating what other agencies provide, Butcher said.
"We just want to make sure people have a place to go, where they're treated like family and they're treated royally if they go."