While its firefighters, police officers and highway patrol troopers' jobs to serve the community, members of a church in Sioux Falls decided it was their turn to serve them.
A group of volunteers delivered care packages to all the first responders in the area.
Bags of chips, teddy bears and personalized notes- the items in the care packages are simple, but the gesture behind them is far from that.
"It's very easy for us to take for granted people that do those kinds of jobs day in and day out,” says Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Senior Pastor Randy Gehring. “We just expect them to show up when we have a need."
To change this, more than 50 members of Our Savior's Lutheran Church decided to showcase their support to first responders on a day when it's needed, the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11.
"It's a special occasion that invited us to make a special attempt to say thank you,” says Pastor Gehring. “But it's also a good reminder that maybe we should do this all the time, not just on special occasions.”
All those who put their lives on the line are receiving the care packages, including those on duty at Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue Station 3.
"This will hold us over for a while,” says firefighter Mitchell Evertse as he’s opening up the bag. "It was nice that the people are supporting us, praying for us, giving us gifts. It's really reassuring as we're protecting the citizens on this day.”
Evertse says gestures like this help boost the department's morale.
"It helps in doing our jobs to the best of our ability,” he adds. "We all know that we have a dangerous job, we do a lot of training, but it's still dangerous despite the things we go through.”
This is exactly why the church chose to do this.
It’s part of their annual community service project.
"To help us remember that without them, we would be in really big trouble,” says Pastor Gehring.
More than 75 bags are being delivered.
Members of Our Savior's Lutheran Church donated items in the care packages.
Thrivent Financial also donated to the cause.