For some of our Frisco first-responders, Christmas Day is a work day like any other. Although the emergency calls never stop, here’s an amazing opportunity to help THEM in the spirit of the season and celebrate Christmas with a holiday meal.
Feed-A-Hero is an organization founded by Jim Searles and serves the people who, on a daily basis, run toward danger instead of away from it. For the police officers and fire fighters who serve their communities in this way, being a First Responder is more than just a job. It’s a reflection of who they are.
We often think about the men and women in the military this time of year, as we should. But right here in our own community, we find people who routinely put themselves in harm’s way and even lay down their lives for perfect strangers. This is why Feed-A-Hero was formed. Searles shared,
As a former first responder, I understand the issue of nothing being open on Christmas. It’s not a fun day to work. If you didn’t go ahead and have someone cook you dinner beforehand, you pretty much were relished to a convenience store hot dog.
And on Christmas, that just isn’t that great. It’s not that great on a regular day… let alone Christmas! The first year (2014) that we did this, we simply took a dinner up to a firehouse and told the police in the area that we were bringing food to the station and they could just grab some dinner there.
The following year, Feed-A-Hero decided to expand on the idea and delivered food to several firehouses. The organization grew again in 2016 feeding 450 First Responders on Christmas Day. The sincere gratitude expressed by the recipients was really special.
Continuing to expand the program this year, Feed-A-Hero decided that they wouldn’t turn down any Department who asked for help. During the 2017 Christmas season, the organization served 1520 First Responders and this year, they’re prepared to serve 4,000 police and fire first responders.
Most of these departments would have a potluck dinner or something similar, and while there are people who bring a box of cookies or cupcakes to a First Responder station, rarely is it a full meal that could sustain the physical activity required of these men and women. And no one is providing food on a large scale across multiple departments like Feed-A-Hero. This is an original grassroots campaign that started out with people just wanting to do something nice for the heroes in our community.
How Can You Help?
Feed-A-Hero has a vision to continue growing and expanding the reach of the First Responder stations. Feeding more and more of these everyday heroes. Jim Searles says,
We have a 20-20 vision which is by Christmas Day 2020 we want to be feeding every police and every firefighter in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We’re also going to be adding additional events which will occur sometime in the month of June and will be a summer kickoff for our First Responders and their families. More events will be added as we grow.
One of the great things about the Feed-A-Hero team of volunteers is that they’re just people with jobs, who are a part of the community. They’re not all firefighters or police officers. With accountants, real estate agents, HVAC folks, technicians, cooks and every other occupation that you can think of helping us to grow.
Just when Jim thinks they’ve reached a pinnacle of what they’re doing, someone with a different set of skills comes into the group offering to help. This year, Feed-A-Hero added a media company that donated their talents. Plus, an award-winning barbecue caterer came on board who’s helping them to manage the capacity they need to grow again next year…always striving to raise the bar on an experience that’s even better for our police and firefighting heroes.
What’s Next on the Horizon?
Feed-A-Hero will continue to add additional events so that it’s not just a once a year opportunity to say “thank you.” Although we should say thanks every day to our local heroes, the goal is to have an event at least once per quarter for our police and firefighters, and more importantly for their families, to come together as a community and give back to them. Jim shared,
This year, we completed our 501c3 and folks can volunteer, donate, or adopt a station all on our website.
You can help by delivering food on Christmas day or by making a donation to help purchase supplies. Both generous acts have allowed thousands of first responders to eat a decent meal on Christmas when options are extremely limited. The average cost to feed a station is $60. Consider adopting a station, delivering meals to stations on Christmas Day, or make a monetary donation (from 11/26 – 12/15, all donations will receive one chance to win an AR-15 – for every $10 donated).
Feed-A-Hero has two distribution centers: one in Lewisville at Music City Mall and another in Ft Worth at the old fire station in Watauga. Reach out to learn how you can help at these locations.