While many people share Thanksgiving meals with friends and family, one Tucson family prepares plates for many people they don't know personally.
"It's just a traditional dinner, that's all it is," Omega Carney said.
Food-wise, traditional. But people-wise, her family hosts a dinner for first responders. They do it in an effort to say thank you and show appreciation for what first responders have done for their family. In June, 2016, her son Tom nearly lost his life after an accident. He was a police officer in Simi Valley, CA.
"Had it not been for the first responders when he was injured, we could have lost him," she said. “It was an absolute miracle that he even survived. So, I really believe that the first responders are a huge, huge part of why he’s still alive today.”
While the accident happened in another state, Carney explained first responders throughout the country -- and in Pima County -- do the same thing: help people when they need it the most.
"We depend on them to help us when we're in need," she said. "And when we need immediate help."
Whether five or 500 people, Carney wants first responders to know that on this day, and every day, she's grateful for them.
She prepared nearly 88 pounds of turkey, and plenty more side dishes. All of the leftovers will be donated to the Gospel Rescue Mission.
Carney says she'll be putting on the dinner again next year -- and hopes more and more first responders will show up in the years to come.