Effort Expands in 2020 to include Kent and Sussex Counties.
The volunteer effort to feed every first responder on Thanksgiving is expanding from Sussex County into Kent County in 2020, and volunteers have been meeting for months now to plan for the big day.
Blessings for Badges was founded in Sussex County in 2018 to provide meals for police officers, paramedics, firefighters, dispatchers, and correctional officers who can’t enjoy a meal at home with their families. In Sussex County, meals will be assembled at Millsboro Fire Company and delivered to each first responder’s station.
“We are just so thankful for what these heroes do for us every day, but especially on holidays when we all are enjoying our families and sometimes forgetting about the people who keep us safe,” said Cindi Susi, of Harbeson, President of Blessings for Badges.
The group has been seeking donations of food and money to support the effort, and the outpouring of support has been gratifying.
In Sussex County, several restaurants are pitching in with trays of donated food including J.D. Shucker’s, SoDel Concepts, Big Fish Grill, Pizza Palace, and Harpoon Hanna’s. Mountaire Farms is donating eight cases of whole chickens and Blessings for Badges is supplying several turkeys. Crossroads Community Church and Sysco are donating pies and students have been making hand-made Thank You cards to be included with every meal.
The Ladies Auxiliary of the Georgetown Fire Company is pitching in with trays of mashed potatoes and the Millsboro Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary has generously agreed to cook all the turkeys, chickens and prepare the meals. Sysco has donated supplies.
A group of volunteers stepped up to prepare and deliver meals in Kent County this year as well. Deb Lawhead, who is President of Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary, is serving as the Kent County Co-Chairman, along with Sandy Robinson. She is leading the effort and will be using the Leipsic Fire Company as their base of operations for the day.
In Kent County, Harrington Raceway and Casino are providing all the turkey and rolls, and various Ladies Auxiliaries are pitching in with trays of mashed potato, stuffing, and macaroni and cheese. Mission BBQ is providing cornbread. Girl Scout Troop 267 and Calvary Baptist Church are making Thank You cards to remind each officer how appreciated they are.
Cindi Susi’s late father was a retired Wilmington Police Officer, who missed many Thanksgiving meals due to work. As the father of 11 children, his fellow officers called him “The Deacon”, and Cindi has created The Deacon’s Pantry in his honor.
The group is also accepting financial donations to help offset costs associated with the project. Checks can be made payable to Blessings for Badges and mailed to PO Box 1041, Millsboro, DE 19966.
For more information or to learn how to volunteer, contact BlessingsForBadges@gmail.com