First responders at the Eclectic Warehouse enjoyed a homemade meal on Tuesday as a part of the Elmore County First Responders Countywide Appreciation Day.
Multiple churches throughout Elmore County joined forces to honor the county’s first responders by preparing meals for them. In addition to the Eclectic Warehouse, meals were served throughout the day at six locations in the county.
Eclectic United Methodist Church and Living Water Eclectic teamed up to provide lunch to first responders from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. They served a meal of homemade camp stew and cornbread with apple tarts and sweet tea.
"There's a nice network of area churches here, so we're used to working with one another on events throughout the year," Eclectic UMC pastor Rob Gulledge said. "When we got the call about this event, we were all on board and eager to express our support and appreciation for law enforcement officers and first responders."
Gulledge said many of the first responders served are people they know — their neighbors they see in the grocery store or at church.
Living Water pastor Philip Powell said the event was a great way for him to get more acquainted with the community.
"Our church is very new," Powell said. "We just recently celebrated our one-year anniversary in Eclectic, so we were excited to learn of this opportunity to be hands on in the community. We couldn't pass on this opportunity to serve our community. It's really just the simplicity of doing what Jesus did — feeding people. By feeding people, you meet one of their most basic and practical needs, which helps open up their heart to the message."
Candy Smith with Red Hill Volunteer Fire Department said she appreciates the community's efforts.
"It really does make us feel appreciated," she said. "This was unexpected and very sweet. It makes us feel like our community cares for us."
Smith also said these types of events also gives first responders a chance to get to know people in the community and first responders from other departments.
To accommodate the schedules of volunteer firefighters, meals were delivered to every volunteer fire department in the county.