GREENSBORO, N.C. – Immanuel Baptist Church in Greensboro has fed first responders a Thanksgiving meal for the past 30 years.
Worshipers cook for hours inside the kitchen instead of being at home with their families.
A hot cooked meal is what they show in return for emergency officials who never stop protecting us all.
"We feel like they have to work today protecting us and we want to make sure they have a Thanksgiving dinner," said church member Janice Osborne.
The meal line was a combination of paramedics and police.
"The food is awesome," Guilford County Paramedic Melissa Tedder said.
This is Tedder's second year in a row coming to the church for Thanksgiving.
For Officer Word, it's his first time here and away from his family.
"It's a little tough," Word said. "This is the first Thanksgiving with the little one. We have a 1-year-old."
Word is new to the force and still in field training.
He's shocked to see how nice and supportive people are to police.
Word said even though he's not with his immediate family, he's making a new one at the dinner table.
"Bring me in with open arms and hug on me and love on me and what not, it's a real heart-warming feeling," Word said.
Some people say this dinner is more than just about food.
It's a time when first responders of all areas can talk over dinner instead of a bad situation.
"We still have to answer those calls yet they take time instead of being with their families and dedicate it to us and we're very grateful for that," Tedder said.