The actor visited firefighters, police officers, and other first responders throughout Texas to thank them for their service during last year's hurricane

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October 29, 2018 at 01:55 PM EDT

Sunday was National First Responders Day, and Matthew McConaughey celebrated by giving thanks to police officers, firefighters, 911 operators, emergency room doctors, and nurses who were on the front lines helping people after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston last year. McConaughey, a Texas native, surprised various groups of first responders over the course of the day with handshakes and turkey dinners.

The visits were organized by Wild Turkey, the famous bourbon distillery for which McConaughey is creative director, as part of their annual Wild Turkey Gives Back campaign.

“I’m Texas born and raised, so acknowledging the hard work and dedication of first responders in Houston is meaningful to me personally,” McConaughey said in a statement. “Over the past year alone with the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, the Carolinas and Florida and the fires in California, the number of heroic men and women on the front lines of natural disasters is staggering. I am glad to make it to Houston to recognize how important these folks are and I am proud to work with Wild Turkey, who is making first responders a key focus of its Wild Turkey Gives Back campaign for 2018.”

McConaughey was accompanied on the visits by Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell. The two began their day at Houston Fire Station 26, followed by visits to City Hall to meet with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Police Department, Houston Emergency 911 Call Center, and Ben Taub Hospital Emergency Center. In total, McConaughey and Russell met with several hundred first responders during their Sunday tour around the city, and were often greeted by chants of “alright, alright, alright!”

Above, watch a video McConaughey recorded outside a Houston fire station.

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