DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — On Thanksgiving and schools are out and many businesses are closed as students and workers take the day to celebrate the holiday together.
For first responders, many will be on standby in the event an emergency happens.
That's why today the 7th annual 'Citizens Thanksgiving Day Dinner for Delray Beach Emergency Personnel' will kick off as a caravan of some 30 cars that will make their way to local fire stations and the police station delivering thanksgiving meals
"It started 8 years ago when I was delivering cookies just to the police and fire department just to say thanks, I'm a long-time citizen I've been here since '91. And i saw families in there, and kids and i said this just doesn't seem right to me, these guys are working on this day, these families are here, we need to do something," said organizer of the food delivery event, Chuck Halberg.
Halberg said they took to Facebook asking for donations to help buy food to feed the first responders.
Those efforts have carried into 2021 where he says he's raised $11,600.
"These days they're out waiting for us with open arms and they hug everybody and you see families there usually too. So that's really great because the families see that people in the community love their spouses and the fact that they're there protecting our community while we're with our families," said Halberg.
The event consists entirely of everyday people who simply want to give thanks to those first responders.
For 2021 they expect to have at least 30 cars driving through Delray Beach, with over a hundred people who made donations to the cause.
Organizers say thanks an overwhelming amount of monetary donations this year, they were able to donate $8,000 dollars to local nonprofits.
$3,000 will go to the EJS project, which has given away turkeys to local families in need.
$5,000 will go to Delray Citizens for Delray Police benefiting their Toy Drive.
"I think people in our town really respect fire and police but i never intended it to do other things with it really, but I said 'guys we have extra money,'" said Halberg.
Halberg is now urging everyone to celebrate the holiday safely so that everyone can have a happy Thanksgiving.
"That is our hope for this year, that everybody celebrating on thanksgiving acts responsibly, goes home to their family, and acts responsibly so that police officers and fire personnel can go home to their families," said Halberg.