DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. -- Handshakes, hugs and words of thanks. They're not the typical greetings for a coroner, especially one working in cahoots with two funeral homes, bail bondsmen and a pawn shop. But then again, they're not usually delivering food.
Ten years ago Douglas County Coroner Randy Daniel decided to start delivering Thanksgiving meals to first responders and other public safety employees who had to work on the holiday.
"We're all on the scenes together and we thought if they give up their day, the least we can do is give up part of ours to try to help them and give them the thanksgiving dinner that they deserve," said chief deputy coroner Nathan Mitchell.
Mitchell joined Daniel Thanksgiving day to travel more than 150 miles delivering food to the sheriff's department, nearly a dozen fire stations, police department, hospital and 911 call center.
"We handed the guy a plate and big ole tears started coming down his cheek and he said his wife and family was up in north Carolina visiting family so he didn't think he was going to get thanksgiving dinner. So, it was really touching," said Daniel.
Several businesses including Willie Watkins, Jones-Wynn and Hightower Funeral Homes, A1 Bail Bonding, Best Bonding and Double Eagle Pawn Shop helped pay for the food.
Volunteers and deputy coroners started cooking it on Monday at Dorsett Shoals Baptist Church. This year they prepared 19 turkeys, 15 gallons of dressing, and more pounds of sweet potatoes than they care to count.