Tori Carr, Murfreesboro City Schools

What started out as an idea from a Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department (MFRD) Captain, became an amazing partnership between MFRD and the school systems to deliver some holiday joy to some local elementary students.

MFRD crews have joined several local students for their Thanksgiving lunches.

MFRD Captain Clay Estes contacted Public Information Officer Ashley McDonald at the end of October. “I have an idea,” he said. “My son asked me to eat Thanksgiving lunch with him at school, and because I’ll be on shift that day, I’ll be unable to go. That got me thinking about all the other kids that might not have a parent available to come eat lunch with them, either due to work commitments or other circumstances.” He then asked McDonald, “What if we were to have our crews eat Thanksgiving lunch with the kids whose parents aren’t able to make it?”

McDonald thought it was a great idea and quickly contacted her colleagues at city and county schools, James Evans and Lisa Trail. After coordinating with the principals of their respective schools, Evans and Trail were able to put McDonald in touch with the schools to determine schedules and availability.

Over the holiday, MFRD visited at least five schools and has plans to attend at least one more holiday dinner in December.

“I just thought this was such a great idea,” said McDonald. “The kids look up to our personnel so much, and how cool is it that they get to share their holiday lunch with their ‘heroes’?”

“We appreciate members of the Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department for thinking of our students and wanting to spend time with them during Thanksgiving lunches,” said James Evans of Rutherford County Schools.

“We are extremely grateful for our Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department partners,” says Jenny Ortiz, Bradley Academy Principal. “Our students were overjoyed with the firefighters joining us for Thanksgiving lunch. This is a great experience for our students.”

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