Atmore family showing appreciation to first responders, providing Thanksgiving meals

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ATMORE, Ala. (WKRG) – An Atmore family is giving back this Thanksgiving after a tough year. It hasn’t been easy for the Nichols family after losing their son Gordon in a car accident last year.

“He gave the biggest bear hugs, had the brightest smile. He loved people. He loved his family,” Melissa Nichols said.

This time last year, Melissa was sharing the table with her husband and their two children, Gordon and Walton. They never thought it would be their son’s last Thanksgiving.

“Truly, last year I did feel like I lost my best friend. I feel like I lost my twin,” said Walton, remembering her brother.

Instead of reflecting back on last year’s tragedy, the family is remembering Gordon and giving back in his honor.

“They helped us when we needed help the most and didn’t even know it. They’re not only first responders. They’re our friends. They’re our friends and we love them dearly,” Melissa said.

This Thursday, the Nichols will be handing out Thanksgiving meals to first responders in Atmore who rushed to their aid last year.

“This idea did not only stem to give love and support to one group of people. We just thought in the city of Atmore, in this community, how can we help the way they have helped us,” Walton said.

“We just want to make a mark and everybody remember Gordon and remember the fun times and the smiles they shared with Gordon,” said family friend Wendy Classen.

The goal is to grow this Gordon’s Giving each year and to show love and appreciation to those who they’re truly thankful for.

“By doing this, his light will continue to shine and that’s exactly what we want,” Melissa said.

Without the community’s support, the family says this wouldn’t be possible. Ronnie and Jessica Cloud, former owners of Alabama Wing House, are helping with the cause. Dale Ash and the Rev. Antonio Jackson are also pitching in to help make the Thanksgiving meals possible.

The meals will be handed out at Boland Hall inside St. Roberts of Bellarmine Catholic Church in Atmore.

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