While many Mid-South families spent their Christmas Day around the tree, opening presents and enjoying time with loved ones, hundreds of Memphis Police officers and firefighters spent their day prepared to answer the call.
They were rewarded with the kindness of strangers. Memphis firefighters grabbed a special delivery late Christmas morning: a free lunch, compliments of Piccadilly Cafeteria.
“It really makes us feel appreciated and not forgotten,” Memphis firefighter Steven Pecaitis said.
The batch of firefighter meals, along with rolls and pies, were delivered at MFD Fire Station 21, food which also went to several other nearby fire stations to pick up.
“This is our second family, so the fact that we can sit and enjoy a meal on a holiday is really big,” Pecaitis said.
The compassion didn’t stop there, as Local 24 saw a woman who dropped by with desserts.
“We appreciate everything that you do,” the woman said.
“A lot of us have family members that are like ‘you have to work on Christmas, that’s crazy’,” Pecaitis said. “Emergencies don’t know holidays, nights or weekends, so we are always here.”
Memphis Police officers also picked up donated meals for their precincts and officers on the streets Christmas Day, a gift gladly provided by those at Piccadilly who also worked the holiday.
“It’s so great for all our people here that work for us, give something back to them for helping us out,” Jannetta Odjo, a Piccadilly employee, said.
“I tell them thank you every day for what they do, because without them I think the world would be extra, extra crazy,” Shirley Ann Pugh, another Piccadilly employee, said.
Piccadilly Cafeteria served up more than 800 meals to Memphis first responders Christmas Day, providing nourishment and appreciation at dozens of fire houses and police stations on the holiday.