Like most 5-year-olds, Hannah Rodgers has trouble deciding on what she wants to be when she grows up.
But there is one profession that she keeps returning to: first responders.
It doesn’t matter if it’s firefighters, paramedics or police officers, Hannah loves them all.
“She is always rolling down the window when we’re in the car to wave or say hi whenever she sees an emergency vehicle or a cruiser,” her father, Dan Rodgers, said.
Whether at a supermarket, on the street or sitting at a restaurant, Rodgers said if Hannah spots a first responder, she always wants to give them something or say hello.
That’s what happened when they were eating at a Hungry Howies a few weeks ago, Rodgers said.
Hannah saw two officers eating there and told he father she wanted to buy their meals. But the officers had already paid and were leaving.
Ever since then, her father says, Hannah has been itching to do something to say thank you to the first responders she looks up to.
“She has had something for first responders,” Rodgers said. “She has a big heart, that’s just her ... and she wanted to express her thanks to the fire and police departments along with emergency and sheriff’s office deputies.”
“At first she wanted to throw them a hot dog party,” he chuckled.
Eventually they settled on coffee and doughnuts. Her father called around to different agencies to let them know what his daughter was planning, and invited them to their Bradenton home on Wednesday morning.
After they woke up, Hannah grabbed her piggy bank stuffed with dollars and change from birthdays and Christmases past and went to Dunkin’ Donuts with her dad.
They left with 10 dozen doughnuts and at least seven boxes of coffee, Rodgers said, all bought with the money Hannah had saved up over the past year. She had insisted.
Rodgers says when the fire trucks, patrol vehicles and emergency vans showed up at their home a little while later, Hannah hid behind him and her mom.
She was excited, but shy.
Eventually she warmed up enough to hand out pages from her coloring book. She gave each responder something she had colored, whether it was puppies or princesses.
In the couple of hours that her heroes were there, Hannah ran in and out of her room, excitedly changing her outfits at least four times, her dad says.