This weekend, we will pause to remember those who lost their lives in the 9-11 attacks. Several hundred of those killed were first responders. Friday, H.E.B. employees across the state rolled up their sleeves to show their appreciation for firefighters.
The firefighters at station 22 in East Austin started their morning off with a home-cooked meal.
The ladies who prepared the feast are appreciative customers. They work at the H.E.B. on East Riverside Drive and rely on the firefighters at the station for any emergencies they may have.
"Thank you for what you do,” said H.E.B. employee Kristy Saucedo.
The pampering wasn't over. Kristy Saucedo and her co-workers headed outside to do some landscaping.
"We got some sage plants, some Texas drought plants and we're going to plant them and make it look more inviting. We got some new chairs for them as they like to sit out and bond and enjoy the community,” said Saucedo.
Just as the plants were in the ground, the women traded shovels for brushes and scrubbed the fire trucks 'till they shined. "I think this is going to be the best looking truck,” said Saucedo.
Their efforts are a part of H.E.B.’s annual Helping Heroes program.
"A couple years after 9-11 we were still feeling the shock and the pain from that day and one of our employees thought of this idea of wanting to go to fire stations on or around 9-11 and saying our personal thanks on behalf of H.E.B. and all the employees that appreciate the support of our firefighters and first responders,” said H.E.B. Director of Public Affairs Leslie Sweet.
What started with one employee has now grown to more than 4,000 visiting 650 stations across the state.
"It's nice to be spoiled every once in a while,” said AFD Firefighter Richard Edwards.
The firefighters could not be more appreciative of their efforts. It seems the food was their favorite part.
"As far as the food goes, everyone knows firefighters love to eat and that's one of the times all of us as a crew get to share stories, poke fun at each other. The migas they made for us this morning were phenomenal. Everything was great. It was nice for them to come out and cook for us,” said Edwards. "For everyone to say thank you means a lot to us."