It is human nature to focus on our own needs when uncertainty and turmoil come knocking on our doors. COVID-19 didn’t just knock politely, but instead, wielded a sledgehammer and smashed its way into our daily lives. Throughout the weeks of pandemonium, members of our community have risen to the challenge and become “Coronavirus helpers.” Some are obvious, like doctors and nurses fighting on the frontlines, while others are a little less obvious, like the essential retail employees, food service workers, or our children’s teachers. Here are a few ways we can say thank you to these groups within our communities for risking their health and wellbeing to contribute to the greater good.
Place a food order and have it delivered
This gesture has a twofold benefit! The doctors and nurses will be able to grab a bite to eat during their grueling shifts, and you can help support a local restaurant in the process. Tipping your delivery driver a little extra would be an excellent way to thank them as well! Take a few moments and call ahead to wherever you want to send the food, just to make sure they are accepting food from outside venues. It doesn’t have to be full meals, either but maybe treats from a local bakery!
Start a community page on Facebook
Here where I live, someone started “HOWL for Billings.” The group currently has 12,000 members who all go outside and howl or cheer at 8 pm in a show of solidarity for the essential workers. Get creative and come up with something that your community can do and then get the word out! You can also use this group as a way for coronavirus helpers to share their needs and have the members meet them. For instance, let’s say a nurse shares that her dryer is going out, and she needs it to make sure she can continue to wash and dry her scrubs before entering the house. People who are in the group can decide if they can all pitch in and purchase one.
Don’t forget the teachers
It has been almost three weeks since schools closed here and the teachers have been amazing. Within days they had managed to adapt to some crazy online version of schooling. The district was handing out Chrome Books to kids who needed them. No internet at home? No problem, the principal is at the school every Monday with a weekly packet of work that parents can pick up from their child’s teacher. You can thank them by donating whatever you can to their classrooms when this is all over!
Showing gratitude, in whatever way you choose to do it, will make someone’s day. It doesn’t have to be big; it can be as simple as buying someone a cup of coffee, or writing words of thanks on your car and sitting inside it at the employee parking lot and honking! Whatever you do will have a tremendous effect on the people who are most needed right now! It will also undoubtedly lift your spirit and inspire others to show their thanks as well.
If you can’t think of something to do, then be kind to everyone working at whatever store or establishment you are still able to frequent. Saying “thank you” will also go a long way!
“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it all into words is all that is necessary.” —Margaret Cousins