AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —  Nexstar is celebrating its 26th anniversary Friday with its annual Nexstar’s Founder’s Day of Caring, which is an event where company employees donate their time to help benefit the communities they serve.

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. Chairman and CEO Perry Sook established Founder’s Day of Caring, giving his employees a half-day of paid time off to give back to the communities they work and live in.

Locally, KAMR volunteered with Dove Creek Equine Rescue and at the High Plains Food Bank.

Those who volunteered at the High Plains Food Bank sorted food and got food boxes together for senior citizens across the area that are food insecure.

According to the High Plains Food Bank, the morning’s volunteer group was able to assemble the equivalent of 23,000 meals for area residents.

Tina Brohlin, Director of Development at the High Plains Food Bank added it’s great when members of the community come out and volunteer and give their time at the High Plains Food Bank.

“I think a volunteer choosing to spend their time with the High Plains Food Bank and serving our mission and ultimately helping our neighbors that are struggling with food insecurity is one of the most meaningful and impactful things we can do,” said Brohlin.

Brohlin also added they are always in need of volunteers, especially during the summer months as they do see a dip in volunteers due to people wanting to travel.

Those who volunteered at Dove Creek Equine Rescue helped do some landscaping such as picking up rocks, cleaning up at equine rescue, and grooming horses.

Curtis Watkins, a long-time volunteer at Dove Creek said volunteers get a sense of peace when they come out and volunteer at the equine rescue.

“It’s a wonderful place to be out. It’s peaceful, it’s restful. To me, it remains me of what it was like back in the 1800s, back in the old west. It’s really freeing and really calming,” said Watkins.

Sook added that Founder’s Day has had a great impact on employees.

“Some of the hidden benefits we’ve seen of Founder’s Day is most of the local markets will do t-shirts for their own individual teams, there’s teamwork and camaraderie outside of an office setting, that I think it gives people a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging that you might not get during your workday life,” said Sook.

Sook said over 60% of employees company-wide have participated in Founder’s Day activities since it has begun.