What looks like a pep rally is a celebration to honor volunteers at the Roanoke Rescue Mission. Volunteers and supporters cheered inside the mission's hospitality dining room.

“The rescue mission cannot do what we do without our volunteers. They are just a critical portion of what we do here, beside ours staff,” said Volunteer Coordinator Leslie Littlefield.

Mission employees say they are blessed and thankful for the amount of volunteers who give their time. The mission saw more than 5,000 volunteers last year, and nearly 115,000 hours of time were donated.

“It's good to give the community and good to see, work alongside the people that are going through the program and see their struggles and hear their story,” said Volunteer Ioana Farthing.

Ioana Farthing says she learned a lot over the past three years while volunteering. During the summer she brings her teenage daughter to help.

“We’re firm believers in giving back to the community. We benefit so much from Roanoke. You receive when you give and we feel strong about that, said volunteer June Broadwell.

Broadwell isn't alone in that belief. It's a thought shared by others who also go above and beyond to make a difference.