Boyle County volunteers host first responders thank you lunch

Published 3:24 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

The Boyle County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) and Hope Network held their annual First Responders Thank You lunch on Thursday.

Volunteers delivered box lunches to over 250 first responders across Boyle County. The lunches came from Melton’s Deli and Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken.

Each lunch came with a flyer with the message, “Thank you for your critical work in light of the continuing addiction issues in our community, and the COVID-19 pandemic over the past many months. We cannot thank you enough for all you do for our community, but please accept this lunch as a token of our gratitude for your important work. We believe that together, we can make a difference in our community.”

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Hilary Blevins, an ASAP director, said, “I work a lot with first responders and they definitely deserve recognition and we very much appreciate them in our community. They work very hard so we want to treat them well.”

About 15 volunteers met at The Showroom in Danville to bring lunches to an extended list of responders. That list included emergency medical services (EMS) workers, police and fire departments, the Boyle County Detention Center, the Boyle County Health department and Community Based Services, front line social workers and family services. They also delivered to the Salvation Army for the first time.

Kathy Miles, coordinator for ASAP, said, “We decided to do this because we were just hearing that our first responders were exhausted from all the extra pressures from drug issues and the pandemic.”

Hope Network, a faith-based non-profit, and ASAP split the cost of this event. They started the lunch event five years ago but could not have it last year due to COVID-19. Before the pandemic, they held it in-person at The Showroom with many volunteers and first responders. Miles said first responders loved the opportunity to talk with people from other departments.

“Often they would tell us they never get to talk to each other,” Miles said. “Police will say they never have a chance to sit down and talk to EMS except when they’re in an emergency.”

Miles is looking forward to having the event in-person next year.