Willie Ferguson (left) is cutting chicken for the Water Street Oyster Bar's first responder meals on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. The restaurant serves the free meals Wednesday through Friday.

Sally Wallace and her friends joked about their lack of sewing skills.

Wallace, a home mother and self-proclaimed “professional volunteer,” and her friends wanted to help the community. Then the idea came to her.

Food for first responders.

“We’re friends with the Lomaxes who own Water Street (Oyster Bar),” Wallace said. “I asked if you would be ready for it.”

Liz Lomax, who owns the downtown restaurant with her husband, quickly said yes.

“Food for firsts” came about through an email that was passed on from friend to friend. The email helped raise $ 25,000 in donations for meals as of Monday afternoon, Wallace said.

The idea is a win-win situation.

“We can’t tell you how grateful we are for this. It was such a gift,” said Lomax. “So that our employees can do something for the first responders and we get people back to work to support this, we had to go on vacation.”

Water Street staff will help prepare meals for approximately 600 first responders, medical workers and key workers in Corpus Christi, Wallace said.

The Water Street Oyster Bar delivers free meals to the Corpus Christi Police Department on Tuesday March 31, 2020.  The restaurant serves the free meals Wednesday through Friday.

The food is made and delivered to them. Wednesday the food was delivered to the Corpus Christi police.

“Corpus has a way of collecting. It really makes me proud of my community,” said Wallace. “It’s just very fulfilling to see our church come together. We did it for Harvey and we did it for the Wimberly Flood.”

Wallace hopes to see others in the ward come together for friendly acts.

“We see what (first responders) are doing and we want to do everything we can to help them,” Lomax said. “It helps people’s jobs and local businesses. It’s really amazing. Sally had a brilliant idea.”

Alexandria Rodriguez covers the breaking news and crime scene in South Texas. Support local news by reading our subscription options and specials at Caller.com/subscribe