ATMORE, Ala. (WKRG) – She’s used to preparing her own family’s meal on Thanksgiving, but for the second year in a row Melissa Nichols is making sure others have a warm feast on the table this week, specifically first responders in Atmore.

“We realized that the first responders in Atmore had helped us and had been there for us before we even knew we needed them,” she said.

Nichols remembers cooking a big meal, spending time with her husband, their daughter Walton and son Gordon on Thanksgiving Day in 2019, never knowing it would be their last meal together.

“There’s been so many days that are so hard and I’m thinking to myself if these days are hard for me I can’t imagine what they’re like for other people,” said Walton Nichols. 

Gordon was killed in a car accident nearly two years ago. At a time of year when they could be home together, his family is choosing to say thank you to the first responders who worked the crash by providing a Thanksgiving plate at Boland Hall.

“They’ve worked so, so hard. We just want to let them know how much we appreciate them,” she added.

“If I had to describe Gordon in one way it would be he was the most loyal person I’ve ever met in my life. If anything happened good, bad or ugly he was the first to call,” said friend Elliott Faircloth. 

His family calls their new Thanksgiving tradition ‘Gordon’s Giving’. They want his name to not be forgotten and each year they want to give back to the community as much as they can.

“This is the best town. The community love and support and spirit is truly wonderful,” continued Melissa Nichols.

So far they plan to deliver 104 to-go meals tomorrow. They’ll serve lunch beginning at 12:30 p.m. Gordon’s family shared the quote below with us: