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Denver Rescue Mission carries on Thanksgiving tradition after staff member killed

Staff members in mourning showed up Tuesday to help distribute 3,000 Thanksgiving meals to families in need.

DENVER — Free turkeys filled open trunks outside Empower Field at Mile High Tuesday morning as the Denver Rescue Mission carried on an annual tradition with help from the Denver Broncos.

“Families are just so thankful," Denver Rescue Mission president and CEO Brad Meuli said. "You hear it in their voice and you see it in their eyes and it’s a wonderful thing."

Meuli, his staff and volunteers showed up to help families in need even when their own family has been hurting.

"It's a very, very difficult situation," Meuli said.

Last Saturday, Denver Police said, Rescue Mission worker Fabian Olguin was killed in a stabbing outside the men's shelter on East 48th Avenue.

“A senseless death of an employee, and it’s just a very, very difficult thing," Meuli said.

Police said Olguin, 30, was stabbed by a man who'd stayed at the shelter but had been asked to leave the night before after he'd gotten into a fight.

RELATED: Denver Rescue Mission worker stabbed to death outside shelter

Officers arrested Christopher Christian, 22. He faces a charge of first-degree murder, police said.

“We’ve had an outpouring of people that are praying and just encouraging us, encouraging the family that has lost a son," Meuli said.

In a statement released Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Denver Rescue Mission explained why it was important to carry on with the event at Mile High.

"Despite our deep sorrow over this senseless tragedy, we are continuing to serve the poor and needy with our upcoming Thanksgiving events," the spokesperson said.

On Tuesday, the Denver Rescue Mission helped distribute 3,000 turkeys and food boxes packed with mashed potatoes, stuffing, canned veggies and more to individuals and families in need.

“Even in our saddened state, we have to get out there," Meuli said.

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