ALLEN, Texas - A few groups are trying to make it easier for first responders working during the holidays, but there is also a deeper meaning behind the free meals.
Volunteers spent part of their Christmas cooking up hundreds of meals to deliver to first responders working this holiday. It was just a small thanks for their service by spreading the holiday cheer and giving back to first responders.
While many were opening presents early Christmas morning, managers at Torchy's Tacos in Allen were cooking up meals for 70 Allen Police Department officers and dispatchers.
“They do such a great job being able to take care of us, take care of the city, that even if it's just a few hours out of my day, even on Christmas Day, whatever I can do to help out, I'm happy to,” said Michael Brook.
Organizers said it's just a small way to say thanks.
“It's just giving back to our own. We really love to take care of our community and we really love to take care of the people that are serving and protecting our community,” Susan Bartholomew said. “And it's just a small gesture for what they do for us on a daily basis.”
And the officers are appreciative of their generosity.
“It's definitely a comfort to us when we're away from our own families to know that someone's thinking about us and appreciates what we're doing,” Allen PD Officer Clayton Collier said.
In Grand Prairie, volunteers with the "Feed-a-Hero" event spent their morning delivering meals to firefighters and police working on Christmas.
“I'm a nurse, I know what it is to work on holidays. I know what it is to be away from family on holidays. Our need for safety doesn't stop just because it's Christmas,” volunteer Leila Kinsey said.
This year, the event that started six years ago fed more than 6,000 first responders working at more than 380 different stations across the Metroplex.
“It's kind of flattering that the community thinks of us,” said Chance Maxwell, with the Grand Prairie Fire Department. “We don't view ourselves as heroes, this is what we enjoy doing. We have a calling to do this and we enjoy doing it.
The volunteers wanted to showing their appreciation to those who serve 365 days a year.
:I suggest everyone get up from the couch and do it, makes you feel young,” volunteer Mary Wells added.
Volunteers with “Feed-a-Hero said their event gets bigger each year as they include more departments.
Likewise, organizers in Allen are hoping to grow their effort next year to continue feeding Allen first responders.