Starkville, Miss. (WTVA) -- When you think of Christmas, perhaps the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, the unwrapping of presents and the joy with families comes to mind.
However for some, the holiday is another day to protect and to serve.
Almost Like Home is an effort that began 6 years ago to feed local fire fighters. That effort has expanded and it's organized through Face Book.
Lisa Ervin is a volunteer with Almost Like Home.
"Six years ago I was sitting on my couch and saw a facebook message that asked, who wants to help feed fire fighters?" Ervin remembered.
She along with other volunteers said yes to that idea.
"The hearts and the love that people give on their Christmas day and give to our first responders is just amazing," Ervin said.
Lisa McReynolds organizes food donations through a spreadsheet on Facebook.
Some volunteer to cook.
Those items are dropped off to the runners, who then take the Christmas dinner to the designated locations.
For the Spradling family, volunteering has become a Christmas tradition.
"Last year we delivered to the fire department and they were so grateful," Jennifer Spradling said.
Her son, Luke Spradling also enjoys the opportunity to give back.
"I'm just happy to give back to these guys who not just on Christmas, but every day, keep us safe," Luke Spradling added.
Lt. Todd Palmer works with the Starkville Fire Department.
"It means a lot to us. Every year we work on Christmas and around Christmas. For them to take time out of their day to feed us, it's like we're at home," Palmer said.
More than 150 fire fighters, police officers and first responders will be fed on Christmas Day thanks to Almost Like Home.
The effort began with 50 volunteers.
It now includes more than 300 volunteers to feed fire fighters, police, first responders, Oktibbeha County sheriff deputies and E-911 workers on Christmas Day.
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