The pandemic has brought numerous challenges to everyone, but even more so to essential workers who led the battle against a seemingly invincible disease.
While people were advised to observe health protocols and practice social distancing, frontline workers in healthcare and other vital agencies of the government and private sector risk their lives to ensure society will not fall apart by continuing to show up at work and do their jobs.
Essential workers include healthcare workers, social workers, grocery store staff, retail employees, restaurant staff, truck drivers, delivery services, postal workers, firefighters, teachers, police officers, first responders, and so much more.
It’s been two years, but they still show the same grit, courage, and determination. Their selfless dedication means all of us will enjoy brighter days ahead and look forward to a future with hope and optimism.
Thanking them is clearly not enough. They need to be honored. How can we lift their spirits and let them know how much their valuable support meant to us?
If you are one of those who have healthcare and other essential workers in your life whom you believe deserves gratitude and appreciation, then the following tips will help you find brilliant ideas to honor them.
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Express Your Gratitude with Heartfelt Words
It may be simple, but a “thank you” can help motivate essential workers. They go through stressful situations every day and hearing words of gratitude from the people they serve will lessen their load.
Whether you are dropping by a pharmacy or running an errand in the grocery, thanking the staff for their efforts will lighten their hearts and make them smile.
Don’t stop with thank you, however. Try asking them how they are doing, and let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. Words of support and encouragement spoken out loud can do wonders for their self-esteem.
When you have the chance to interact with them, show them kindness. There were cases of discrimination against healthcare workers before the peak of the pandemic, as many people are reluctant and afraid to get near them because they assume the virus might contaminate them.
Treating them fairly and kindly is already a good step towards honoring essential workers.
Say Thank You Through Signs
This meaningful project can be done with the participation of kids. If you have children at home who wish to thank the essential workers, making signs using readily available supplies at home can be a good way to bond with them and instill the values of gratitude and appreciation.
You can educate your kids about the fundamental roles of essential workers during the peak of the pandemic.
They will be happy to create fun signs using crayons, pencils, and paper. You can then tape the thank you signs to the window of your apartment or your car. This way, essential workers who pass by can see the sweet gesture.
Or if you have a social media presence, you can try posting your messages for them and setting them to public view. Even if you are not physically near them, essential workers will still see your message of appreciation and support.
Lend Support to Their Families
Essential workers often spend so much time working on the frontline. This means they will be away from their family members most of the time, especially if they want to protect their loved ones.
Needless to say, it is a stressful time for everybody involved. However, you can alleviate this stress by supporting their families.
It can be done through simple gestures, such as cooking them a healthy meal. This will give essential workers one less chore to worry about. If they don’t have time for errands, you can volunteer to pick up groceries for them when you make the trip to the grocery store.
You can also order a meal for them from a local restaurant and have it delivered to their family’s place.
Give Them Tokens of Appreciation
It can be in the form of thank you cards and care packages. It can also be gifting them with something they will remember.
You can get them a memento in the form of a trophy, plaque, paperweight, and more. The bottom line is that you are gifting them with something that will last.
You will want them to take a look at the token and remember the appreciation and support from people who value the essential workers’ contributions to society.
Provide them with Resources
Resources are scarce in the time of a global pandemic. There are many essential workers from different settings who may need items and resources integral to their safety and efficiency.
This may include alcohol, face masks, and personal protective equipment, among many others.
You can organize a community drive that will help gather the needed resources for essential workers. People can give in-kind donations or pool money to help acquire those vital items.
You may also want to look up organizations in your local area that organize such initiatives if you are not keen to start one yourself. Many people in the community are surely willing to lend a hand, in any way they can.
Pledge Support to Relevant Organizations
There are many non-profit organizations that help important causes, most of which have positive impacts on essential workers.
It could be organizations that provide training and support to front-liners. There are groups that may give essential workers access to services and resources they truly need.
Alternatively, you can ask your representative in congress via email to lend support to essential workers. Many frontline workers are overworked and underpaid.
It is helpful to support them by ensuring they are properly compensated, whether in hazard pay, increase in salaries, or expanded vacation leaves.
It can also be done by improving their work environment and equipping them with proper training and equipment so they can do their jobs well.
Show Your Support by Doing Your Part
Pandemic or not, health is wealth. It is vital to remain healthy to avoid overwhelming the system. Practice social distancing.
Make sure you are protected when you go outside. If you are not feeling well, it is better to limit your outings to public places, so you won’t risk spreading the virus.
Doing your part, however, is not limited to healthcare workers. Other essential workers are also seen in food and agriculture, government agencies, transportation, and other relevant sectors.
As much as possible, honor them by supporting local businesses and treating essential workers with kindness and consideration.
In groceries, make sure to put back items that you are not planning to buy any more in their proper places. This way, grocery staff won’t need to spend time putting them back in place.
In dining places and fast-food restaurants, show your appreciation by giving generous tips and cleaning as you go, even if it’s just as simple as throwing your trash away in the right bin. It will be a great help to the staff to save time and effort cleaning after you.
Wrapping It Up
These simple gestures of appreciation and support can help motivate essential workers in doing their duties, often at the expense of their personal safety and comfort.
Doing one of these tips can help you honor people who help make society a better place to live during the pandemic and beyond.
Another important contribution you can readily offer is observing the health protocols put in place. Little actions like this can pile up and help save the world.
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