Residents spread kindness by providing lunch for nearly 2,000 first responders

Residents organize lunch for first responders, hospital staff

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Being on the front lines of this pandemic, whether it’s working in a hospital or as a first responder, can be a thankless job.

That’s why a group of residents came together to support those who support us every day.

“It’s overwhelming anytime something like this happens and you realize, hey you didn’t forget about us,” said Montgomery EMA Director Christina Thornton.

Thursday, former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, his Chief of Staff Mac McLeod, and other former staffers and friends provided nearly 2,000 meals for firefighters, law enforcement, maintenance, sanitation and local hospital workers - an act of kindness that goes a long way.

Former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, his Chief of Staff Mac McLeod, and other former staffers and friends provided nearly 2,000 meals for firefighters, law enforcement, maintenance, sanitation and local hospital workers.
Former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, his Chief of Staff Mac McLeod, and other former staffers and friends provided nearly 2,000 meals for firefighters, law enforcement, maintenance, sanitation and local hospital workers. (Source: Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency)

“I’ve got 31 people total between our dispatch and our deputies that are out working patrol today,” said Capt. George Beaudry with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. “They’re all looking forward to it. They appreciate someone taking care of them while they’re out there taking care of everybody else.”

The Central Alabama Community Foundation facilitated the purchase and the EMA distributed the meals.

“These people are doing their hardest work and they’re trying to make sure our city remains normal to a lot of people,” Thornton explained. “Our sanitation is still going - our fleet vehicles, our streets still have to be fixed. Our police and fire - they’re still working including the county sheriff. Everybody was taken care of today.”

The meals filled a void for first responders and provided a needed nudge for local businesses that have taken a hard financial hit and needed revenue for the city.

“It’s just an example of what somebody can do to help,” said former Mayor Todd Strange. “It was all about saying thank you, we care about you, and you’re appreciated.”

It also gave a group who sees the worst of the worst a reason to smile, when admittedly, there's not been a lot of smile about.

“We do have some good things coming out of this, seeing people’s hearts and their willingness to give and donate anywhere they can,” Thornton said. “That’s what we need to focus our hope on and what we’re moving towards. We’re going to get back to normal. We just have to be able to maintain the course right now.”

Former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, his Chief of Staff Mac McLeod, and other former staffers and friends provided nearly 2,000 meals for firefighters, law enforcement, maintenance, sanitation and local hospital workers.
Former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, his Chief of Staff Mac McLeod, and other former staffers and friends provided nearly 2,000 meals for firefighters, law enforcement, maintenance, sanitation and local hospital workers. (Source: Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency)

Strange says the plan came together with a matter of short phone calls as many are looking for ways to serve those who serve our community regardless of the circumstance.

“At least it’ll be a reminder that we are, as we have always said, we’re in this together,” Strange said. “As bad as this, it is bringing us together and teaching us a good lesson about humankind.”

If you would like to coordinate a meal for first responders, contact the Montgomery EMA at 334-625-4133.

To make a monetary donation to help those in need you can click here to donate to the Community COVID-19 United Relief Fund https://cacfinfo.org/give/

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