American Red Cross thanks first responders with luncheon

Published 6:59 pm Friday, July 22, 2016

Selma Police Department Capt. Johnny King reaches for a chocolate chip cookie at the American Red Cross office on Wednesday.  The local American Red Cross office held a lunch for first responders.

Selma Police Department Capt. Johnny King reaches for a chocolate chip cookie at the American Red Cross office on Wednesday. The local American Red Cross office held a lunch for first responders.

The American Red Cross held an open house for first responders Wednesday with lunch to give back to those who are always giving.

Edna Vasser, Red Cross community volunteer leader, said the luncheon was a means to show appreciation for all of local first responders and its partners.

“This is just to show them that we appreciate them for what they do. We can’t give back enough for what they do for us,” Vasser said. “They’re always here for us.”

Vasser said this year’s luncheon is the first of many more annual luncheons they hope to have for first responders.

For lunch, the Red Cross provided stacks of fried chicken, green beans, coleslaw, chocolate chip cookies and beverages.

Affiliates of the Selma Police Department, Selma Fire Department, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, the Emergency Management Agency and others showed up for a bite to eat.

“The Red Cross partners naturally with first responders,” said Kelly Striplin Hodges, Selma Red Cross executive director. “We’ll bring out water if it’s hot. We’ll do whatever we can do to assist.”

Hodges said the lunch was a way for them also to show a unified support system.

According to its website, the American Red Cross works to prevent and alleviate suffering in the time of crisis. This is accomplished by supplying blood, disaster relief, providing safety classes and more.

During the open house, information pamphlets were made available for first responders coming through.

The Red Cross also showed off its Emergency Response Vehicle that was donated by Burger King.

Mayor George Evans said he is glad to see the community come together to support its first responders, especially given the heat surrounding law enforcement lately.

“We have to commend our first responders for the jobs that they do and how they put their lives on the line all the time, not knowing sometimes if they’ll be coming back,” Evans said. “I applaud the job that they do. We can’t thank them enough.”

For more information about the Selma Red Cross, call its office at (334) 874-4641.