H-E-B’s Helping Heroes honors Texas’ first responders

For the 15th year running, H-E-B’s Helping Heroes initiative celebrated first responders on Sept. 11 in the retailer’s home state of Texas. Every year, the company’s employees give back to first responders, with more than 2,800 employees pitching in this year.

This year, the company adopted more than 700 fire stations, each of which was provided with a $150 H-E-B gift card. Employees pitched in to prepare more than 5,600 meals for first responders and performed 8,400 volunteer hours to fix up locations and provide other support. Adopted fire stations included more than 200 in Houston, 186 in central Texas and 120 in San Antonio and west Texas.

“Each year, Helping Heroes gives our Partners a chance to give back to the courageous first responders who dedicate their lives to our communities,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B group vice president of public affairs, diversity and environmental affairs. “For 15 years, this essential program is part of our steadfast commitment to these brave men and women who serve our communities each and every day.”

At one San Antonio fire house, employees prepared lunch while the San Antonio Zoo brought animal visitors for firefighters to interact with. H-E-B donated $10,000 to the zoo that will go toward providing first responders free admission in September. At another fire house in the Woodlands, eight area stations competed in a slider competition, with the winner getting a $250 H-E-B gift card. In Austin and McAllen, while volunteers washed the emergency vehicles, firefighters provided CPR training and fire safety instruction to H-E-B employees.

“Every year on 9/11 we remember the lives lost. Our thoughts are with the victims, and all the people who made the ultimate sacrifice to save others that day,” said San Antonio fire chief Charles Hood. “All of us know that when we come into this profession there will be great sacrifices, so we appreciate H-E-B supporting and paying tribute to those who risk their lives every day for their communities.”