Thanksgiving is a wonderful and obvious time to stop and say “Thank You” to some very important people whom we don’t often recognize – our local firefighters. After all, rather than spending Thanksgiving at home with family and friends, those hard-working heroes spend that day on duty keeping our neighborhood safe.

Sharing some Shul-made pies and “Thank You” cards with our local firefighters on Thanksgiving is a great way to express our appreciation. In 2016, Young Israel began this beautiful Thanksgiving tradition.

Children prepare thank you notes

In the days leading up to the holiday, the children of our congregation – and beyond – gather to create appreciative cards and bake mouth-watering pumpkin and sweet potato pies. We then bring together many adults and children to say “Thank You” to our local firefighters at Fire Station 21 (located just next door to Kroger on S. Mendenhall Road) on Thanksgiving Day morning.

The children present their Shul-made pies, as well as their hand-crafted Thanksgiving cards to the very appreciative – and noticeably touched – firefighters. The firefighters gladly treat our group to a tour of their fire-station, let us to take a close look at their equipment, and allow the children to climb through some of their trucks. In 2018, the firefighters even presented each of the children with a red plastic Memphis Fire Department replica helmet. (That was a huge hit!)

Visiting – and thanking – our local firefighters on Thanksgiving Day helps the children (and adults) of our community gain a deeper appreciation of our local heroes. It also makes Thanksgiving so much more meaningful for all parties involved.

Young Israel thanks each of the participants – and the sponsors – of this annual heart-warming program.