Camden County Sheriff Kevin Jones held up the cake for a picture, then jokingly commented on slipping away to his office with it.

Deputies and other staff members laughed, but were having none of such nonsense.

That cake was going to be a nice finisher after a meal of barbecue, slaw, beans and fried chicken.

The idea of feeding the 40-some staffers that look out for us in rural northeastern North Carolina – and all over the country for that matter – was born after watching some very disturbing news coverage of a couple of officers being shot point blank as they sat in their cruiser. More upsetting were the shouts of the crowd outside the hospital hoping they didn’t make it.

Ellen, the beauty in the picture with myself and Jones, decided she wanted to do something to show our appreciation.

So we settled on a nice lunch, made most of it ourselves, bought the rest and delivered it.

Those in the building couldn’t believe the effort – which amounted to nothing compared to putting your life on the line every day.

But we wanted to take things to another level, especially during these times when so many are calling to defund first responders.

So consider this a challenge to others to do something for the cops, the fire department, the emergency room folks and ambulance drivers.

Do something to show them you care.

It doesn’t have to be much.

Buy the police officer in front of you at a 7-Eleven his coffee, send the military guys at the next table a round of drinks, take the fire department a lunch or dinner or drop off a box of doughnuts – yeah, I went there – for breakfast.

Shake their hand and tell them thanks for everything they do.

A little effort goes a long, long way.

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