The Gulf Coast Hub for Volunteers and Nonprofits, a program of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, coordinated an appreciation event for local first responders in remembrance of 9/11 today.
Through many volunteers and donors, the Volunteer Hub provided a free lunch to local first responders for the second year in a row.
The event took place at the Gulfport Central Fire Department and the Gulfport Police Department where firemen and policemen lined up for to-go plates of food.
The Volunteer Hub was able to collect and raise nearly $25,000 in contributions. Some of the contributors were Zaxby’s, Coca-Cola, Sonic, and many more to make it a fully funded event. Volunteer Hub Director Bridget Turan said, “And I just wanted to give back to the community and recognize the first responders in Gulfport, Biloxi, D’Iberville who we supported and helped today. I just feel like their work goes unnoticed way too much and I just wanted to give back and support them with a free meal and free lunch.”
Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt said, “All first responders remember what they were doing or what was going on when those towers came down. So it does mean a lot. It was something that was done to try and break the spirit of this country, instead, because of the heroics and the bravery displayed by those people that day, instead that brought out the best of us.”
If you are interested in donating or volunteering for the event next year, email Bridget Turan at email@example.com.