BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Police Department surprised one of their own Wednesday with a Thanksgiving dinner during their annual Adopt a Family Thanksgiving community event.
The dining hall of Bayou Cafe and Catering was slammed with turkeys and all the fixins' early Wednesday morning. There was enough food to feed 100 families this Thanksgiving. "It's a big deal for us and we really enjoy it," said Louise Brown, co-owner of Bayou Cafe and Catering.
BRPD Sgt. Myron Daniels organized the event in the early 2000s and says it started with him helping one family. Now it has become a huge part of the holiday that the department and those in the community look forward to each year.
"It's been a great blessing, not just for those who are receiving, but all those who are able to give," said Daniels.
Daniel Banguel says it's his first time helping out, but says he will never forget the experience. He's already committed to coming back to volunteer for the event again. "To see all these people partnering up to do something like this is remarkable," said Banguel.
With the food loaded up, members of BRPD and those volunteers hand delivered the meals to deserving families. Perhaps one of the more special deliveries went to one of their own, Officer Rickey Faust.
Faust says he has a lot be thankful for this year. In March, his spine was severely injured in a serious car wreck. While responding to a late-night call, a driver cut in front of his unit, causing him to crash into the concrete barrier along the I-12 median between the Millerville and Sherwood Forest exits. Faust has spent the better part of the year at TIRR Memorial Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Wednesday, though, he was surrounded by his wife, Jodi, their two kids, and some of his brothers in blue. He says his recovery has been slow, but something like Wednesday's visit makes it a little bit better. "I came a long way," said Faust. "With a spinal cord injury, it's a slow process, but it's a light at the end of the tunnel."
Event organizers say they have never asked people to join the effort, but they continue to show up and volunteer each year after seeing what the program offers.