LYNCHBURG, Va. – The McLeod family knows what it’s like to not have a loved one sitting at the table during Thanksgiving dinner.
“They don’t just miss Thanksgiving and Christmas. They also miss birthdays, they miss first plays, first ball games,” said Bethshan McLeod.
Bethshan and James McLeod have eight children and most of them are first responders who typically work during the holidays.
Their son Micah is currently in the Lynchburg police academy set to graduate next month.
“Our goal with being out here today is, you know, to let those guys know that we’re not forgetting about them, they matter and to show that they’re appreciated,” Micah said.
The family put its Thanksgiving festivities on hold to cook enough food to feed the 13 officers working, as well as those whose shifts hadn’t yet started.
Typically, the officers would have to cook themselves on Thanksgiving.
“We would just kind of bring food in. We would have an officer cook or something. We would just kind of eat when we could, you know, because the calls to service don’t stop,” said Sgt. Titus Burgess.
The McLeods said they are a family who serves and this was the least they could do for the officers who serve and protect them.
“It shows that being partners with people in the community that, yeah, we’re out here we’re protecting the citizens of Lynchburg. We’re still working on these holidays, but we still have a really good bond with the citizens of Lynchburg,” Burgess said.
“We were looking for a place to serve and the police department came up. So, this is where we are and we’re thankful to be able to give back,” McLeod said.
Gifting food and giving thanks.