Blessings For Badges gives first responders a ‘slice’ of holiday cheer while on duty


MILLSBORO, Del. – Serving those who serve us. That’s Blessings For Badges mission, feeding first responders in Kent and Sussex County Delaware on Thanksgiving Day.

President Cindi Susi says the organization’s mission is one that hits close to home.

“We decided to do something in my dad’s honor. I’m one of 11 children and there were many Thanksgivings that my dad didn’t get to eat dinner with us,” Susi said.  “So I decided I wanted to do something for all the first responders in Sussex County at the time. We started with Sussex and last year we added Kent County.”

It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort, from local restaurants donating food to the volunteers gloving up so these brave men and women have a hot meal while on duty.

“I’m a retired police officer and there’s many holidays I worked on Thanksgiving. You tended to just come home and warm something up,” Vice President Barry Wheatley said.

“In fact, our first year we found out that the correctional offices don’t have a kitchen. So they don’t even have a place where they can have a hot meal. That was the first hot meal they had because they usually had to brown bag their lunch,” Susi said.

In those boxes, you’ll find everything from turkey to mac-n-cheese. Yet, I’m told it’s what’s outside the boxes that counts the most.

“So we get a lot of feedback from a lot of the different first responders thanking us and telling us how delicious the meal is. It just feels really good to know that they appreciate it,” Susi said.

“Some of the gentleman and ladies that work in the prison system said sometimes they felt like they were forgotten on holidays, but you guys made sure that didn’t happen. We’ve done that for them the last four years,” Wheatley said.

Now in its fourth year and with the community continuing to rally behind the cause, Cindi says she hopes her dad is proud. “My dad was all about giving back, so I think he’d be really proud,” Susi said.

Blessings For Badges tells 47ABC they expect to feed anywhere to 1,000 first responders Thursday. The non-profit also has plans on expanding its reach, hoping to get to New Castle County next.

Categories: Local News, Maryland