In the spirit of the holiday season, McAlister's Deli is launching its first Everyday Heroes program, an initiative designed to thank individuals who have gone above and beyond for their communities. Each deserving Everyday Hero has been nominated by his or her local McAlister’s Deli for continuously working hard to help others.

To recognize and reward each Everyday Hero, nominated individuals have been gifted $500 worth of McAlister’s gift cards to use for themselves, their families and to distribute to their communities in any way they choose. McAlister’s will also be sharing their stories throughout the month of December to shine a light on the selfless work they are doing, and the positive impact they have on those around them. McAlister’s 2016 Everyday Heroes include:  

Dr. David Schilling (Church Hill, Tennessee): Dr. Schilling was instrumental in starting the Church Hill Medical Mission in 2000. During the first year of operation, the clinic served 75 patients, and to date that number has increased to more than 500 visits a year. To more effectively communicate with patients at the clinic, he learned how to speak Spanish at a local university. Dr. Schilling plans to use this donation to hold an appreciation luncheon for all of the dedicated, hard-working volunteers at the clinic.

Julie Meeks (Clinton, Mississippi): A teacher’s assistant with Northside Elementary, Julie works with special needs students in an inclusion classroom. She is currently working on an accelerated reader program with her students to monitor and improve each child’s reading aptitude, and plans to use these gift cards as incentive to encourage her students to achieve their reading goals.

Lisa Higginbotham (Birmingham, Alabama): Lisa is the benevolent fund program manager with the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) system. She works tirelessly to secure donations for more than 130 local charities, and partners with nonprofits to make a positive impact on the greater community. Lisa and the other UAB volunteers are currently working to bring a Ronald McDonald House family room to the university hospital in order to create a welcoming space and offer support to families of our youngest patients. Lisa plans to use these gift cards to honor her stellar UAB employees that make donations to support local organizations from their own paychecks.

Sister Barbara Ann Zeller (Louisville, Kentucky): Sister Barbara Ann has dedicated her life over the past two decades to helping children, families and senior citizens in need. She led the effort to develop the first group home program for foster children, now called The Providence House, in Floyd County, Indiana. The Providence House helps programmatically reunite families suffering from incidents of child abuse, child neglect, homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence and incarceration. She plans to share the gift cards with families in The Providence House, and gift them to the home’s outstanding employees.

“Generosity and kindness are core values at McAlister’s – we’re always looking to recognize acts of kindness, and there is no better time to celebrate the spirit of generosity than around the holidays,” says Rick Altizer, president, McAlister’s Deli. “We’re truly humbled by the stories of these Everyday Heroes, and hope they inspire others to help make their communities a better place as well.”

During the month of December, McAlister’s Deli will be sharing the incredible stories of Everyday Heroes and the positive impact they have on the people around them. Make sure you check out McAlister’s social media channels to learn more about these stories and join the conversation around the spirit of generosity.

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