Some area residents were unable to attend the seventh annual community Thanksgiving celebration last Saturday.

So, firefighters from the Trousdale County Volunteer Fire Department took some of the celebration to them.

Those area firefighters were on the go, delivering meals to some grateful area residents.

For six years, the first responders have gone above and beyond their call of duty to help the Hartsville-Trousdale County Chamber of Commerce deliver meals to elderly and shut-in residents of the county.

“They are good people,” said Hartsville resident Annie Russell. “They are wonderful.”

Hartsville resident Kathy Gammon added, “We are so grateful and thankful to them for delivering the meals.”

Although the community Thanksgiving celebration is an annual event, during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the dinner was cancelled.

However, it was during that time that the Hartsville-Trousdale County Chamber of Commerce decided to thank the first responders for their service to the community with a private Thanksgiving meal.

“During COVID, we couldn’t meet in person (for the community Thanksgiving celebration),” said Hartsville-Trousdale County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Natalie Knudsen. “The schools were closed that year. So, the chamber fed all the first responders. We gave them all free Thanksgiving meals.”

Trousdale County Volunteer Fire Department Captain Jerod Mitchell added, “(The chamber of commerce) reached out to us and asked if we were interested in them doing something for us. We said yes. Of course, who isn’t interested in free food? And we had a pretty good turnout.”

According to Mitchell, the fire department first got involved in delivering Thanksgiving meals as a way to connect with the community.

“A few years ago, Miss Knudsen reached out to us, and I thought it was a good thing for us to be part of,” said Mitchell. “It was something that we could do for the community.

“The personal relationships that we build with people that we deliver (meals) to is a way of getting to know people in the community, and in-turn, them getting to know us. So, late at night if we have to pull up into their driveway, they know who we are. So, it’s a really good relationship builder between the community and the fire department.”

The fire department delivered approximately 100 Thanksgiving meals on Saturday.

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