Bags were filled with food and lines of cars rolled through the Harker Heights Fire Department on Monday as firemen and volunteers handed out Thanksgiving baskets to families in need.

“Thank you so much. Happy Thanksgiving,” said Chris Patterson of Harker Heights. “If it wasn’t for this, we would be having bologna sandwiches on Thanksgiving day.”

This was Patterson’s second year to receive a Thanksgiving basket.

The Harker Heights Lions Club, with help from the Harker Heights Fire Department and support from H-E-B, passed out 95 baskets to families in need. The baskets contained everything for a traditional Thanksgiving meal including turkey and pie.

Capt. James Carson, a 25-year fire department veteran, hands out baskets every year.

“We want to help out this community that has always been so supportive of us,” he said.

Qualifying Harker Heights families came to the fire department Monday to pick up either one or two Thanksgiving baskets depending on the number of mouths needing to be fed.

“Usually, as firefighters, we see people on their worst days,” said Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Gallenstein, who is also a Lions Club member. “It’s nice to know that we can do this and help families who are having a hard time.”

Gary Cooke, a Lions Club volunteer, said the event is very important to him.

“As Lions Club members, helping others is what we do,” he said.

Kris Price wanted to help out and volunteer more in the community so she joined the Lions Club a month ago. “It’s great to let people know that we care and that they will have a good Thanksgiving,” Price said.

For information on the fire department’s upcoming Santa Pal program, which collects and distributes toys and meals for families in need, call 254-699-2688.

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