Cooke kindergarten students treat community helpers to a Thanksgiving meal

a police officer shakes the hand of a student during the community lunch When you’re a first responder, there’s really no such thing as a guaranteed day off. Emergencies happen every day, even on holidays, and these brave men and women stand ready to sacrifice their own family time to serve others. Because of this, community helpers often are not home to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones.

To show their support and gratitude, the kindergarten students of George L. Cooke Elementary School invited some of these community helpers to a Thanksgiving lunch on Monday, Nov. 18. The students helped to prepare and serve a feast for members of the Monticello Fire Department, Monticello Police Department, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and Mobilemedic EMS. Each guest left with a homemade card of appreciation.

“It was a great lesson on the importance of community and kindness,” Principal Chris Palmer said. “These folks serve us every day, so it was nice to be able to give them a break and serve them for a change.”