By Erin Jones

LEWISVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – This Christmas, more than 6,000 North Texas first responders will be served a hot barbecue meal. It’s all thanks to the non-profit Feed A Hero and community donations.

“It’s one of those things where it seems like something like a plate of brisket wouldn’t be as big a deal, but these guys are taking time away from their families and this is just like a little piece of home,” Feed A Hero founder Jim Searles said.

On Thursday, volunteers are putting everything together in Lewisville ahead of deliveries on Christmas Day.

The Bertelsen family said they know firsthand how deserving of this they are which is why volunteering every year has become a family tradition.

“Four years ago a friend told us about the Feed a Hero program and we came out,” Amy Bertelsen said.

They joined hundreds of other volunteers packing and delivering meals to police and fire stations on Christmas Day never thinking they’d see the first responders the very next day in a much different situation.

“The day after Christmas there was a fire in downtown Denton,” Amy explained.

It spread from the Mini Mall in the historic square to their home nearby.

“There were eight agencies and all eight agencies – my husband had boxed their meals, I labeled them and my kids brought them out so for them to save us, that was pretty incredible,” she said.

She said volunteering every year is the least they can do.

“The fact that these guys would give up their Christmas day… and they work so hard to keep us safe so we can stay home,” Amy’s husband, Robb, said. “They deserve way more than that.”

“We love our guys,” Amy said. “It’s so important that we be part of this”

Feed A Hero is still looking for people to deliver meals on Christmas Day. It’s not too late to sign up. If interested, call 940.437.0337.

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Erin Jones