fire station volunteers

HEB employees beautify an area underneath the burn ban sign in front of fire station No. 2 Friday morning as part of their Helping Heroes program, in which HEB workers volunteer to help emergency service personnel.

Huntsville law enforcement, firefighters and EMS got a treat Friday morning in the form of a home-cooked meal.

Several H-E-B employees showed up at fire station No. 2 bright and early and began cooking bacon, eggs and breakfast fixins’ to honor those who serve the community every day.

Jennifer Aguillo has worked for H-E-B for six years, and said she’s glad the H-E-B Helping Heroes program has reached its second year.

“H-E-B Helping Heroes helps us remember 9/11 and honor firefighters, EMS and police officers who risked their lives,” she said. “Not many people come up to the station and thank the people who risked their lives.

“This is a thank you from us,” she added. “They shop in our stores and we see their faces all the time.”

One face being fed Friday morning was that of firefighter Jason January, who said he appreciated the morning work of the H-E-B employees.

“It’s a good feeling to come up here and have people show their appreciation with food,” he quipped, “which, by the way, is a good way to show appreciation to a firefighter.”

Butch Persad, manager of Huntsville’s H-E-B store, said the store and its employees want to give back to the community.

“By giving back, we make the community a better place for our family to live in,” he said. “If we all serve each other, that’s what it’s all about.

“The community gives us a lot in Huntsville, and we wanted to give back,” he added. “We’re going to make this a yearly thing. This store has a lot of great employees.”

Over the course of the day, employees also washed fire trucks and planted shrubs at the fire station on Sam Houston Avenue.

Huntsville Police Department Sgt. Darryle Slaven enjoyed breakfast and said he appreciated the support of H-E-B.

“It lets us communicate with them in a more relaxed environment,” he said.

Kevin Lunsford, HPD lieutenant agreed and said, “It allows community interaction with police and police interaction with community. We’re here to serve the community.”

The H-E-B Helping Heroes service project was designed to celebrate and honor local fire departments and commemorate the heroism of civil servants throughout the state. This community project also honors Sept. 11 as a National Service Day that pays tribute to the men and women rescue teams who risked and lost their lives at the World Trade Center, according to a company press release.

On Friday, nearly 2,500 volunteers from more than 300 H-E-B stores and manufacturing and support centers across the state of Texas visited local fire stations to help out for the day and serve breakfast.

“H-E-B has always been dedicated to giving back to the communities in which we serve,” Bob Loeffler, chief operating officer of H-E-B, said via a press release. “H-E-B’s Helping Heroes program allows our employees to show their appreciation to local firefighters, who are willing to risk their lives for us on a daily basis.”

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