Mission rejects Kansas City atheist group's Thanksgiving help - KCTV5

Mission rejects Kansas City atheist group's Thanksgiving help

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The Kansas City Atheist Coalition said this would have been their third year to serve the needy on Thanksgiving at the Kansas City Rescue Mission. The Kansas City Atheist Coalition said this would have been their third year to serve the needy on Thanksgiving at the Kansas City Rescue Mission.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Many charities are always looking for more volunteers, but one metro mission said "thanks, but no thanks" when a local atheist group signed on.

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition said this would have been their third year to serve the needy on Thanksgiving at the Kansas City Rescue Mission.

Members, like Joshua Hyde, were looking forward to making it an annual tradition of volunteering with the mission.

But that all changed after the Kansas City Rescue Mission sent the atheist coalition an email saying that it planned to include a gospel message in every food box and single-serving meal they deliver, so they probably were not a good fit for the group this year.

Hyde said even with that change, he was not discouraged.

"We were willing to volunteer and deliver the meals with the literature inside of the meals," he said.

The mission still refused their offer, but it is not just about opposing viewpoints. Mission development officer Julie Larocco says more than 100 volunteers turn out to serve and deliver Thanksgiving meals.

"The main thing is we wanted other people to have the opportunity to do this. We wanted to broaden our scope and allow others who hadn't done that before the opportunity to do it," Larocco said.

Larocco acknowledges that message wasn't included in the initial email, but says it was made clear in phone conversations. She says she had welcome the opportunity to work with the atheist coalition on future projects.

"If we didn't want them to volunteer, we wouldn't have accepted them in 2011 and 2012. We've enjoyed them. We've appreciated their help, and we want them to come back," Larocco said.

The atheist coalition says it would be willing to work with the mission in the future.

Right now, they say it is too late to volunteer with any other organizations for Thanksgiving so they'll adopt a family instead.

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