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Coronavirus has impacted every American economically, emotionally and in many cases, physically. And despite the danger of the virus and the risk of exposure, millions of essential workers are willing to brave these risks to help ensure we get the healthcare and basic necessities we need and keep our economy afloat. If you’re looking for few ways in which to say thanks, keep reading for inspiration below. 

Make an impact while keeping it simple

Do you contribute to a neighborhood blog or email list? Post a heartfelt thank you to all of your neighbors serving in an “essential worker” capacity and let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. Record thank you messages from family and friends and stitch the clips together to share as a video on social media. Or simply write a thank you card for your postal carrier, delivery person or sanitation employee, and if you feel inclined, include a gift card. You could even write a few general “thank you” notes to hand out whenever you see an essential worked like a grocery store clerk, gas station attendant, firefighter, police officer or EMT. 

One New York resident recently went the extra mile to thank the healthcare community, literally, by erecting a large, block-letter sign outside the local medical center. But you don’t have to do something grand to make a big difference. Have holiday decorations up in the attic? Many folks are bringing them back out, hanging lights and decorations to bring a little extra holiday spirit to the neighborhood, and you can, too.

Have fun getting creative

In cities around the globe, citizens are teaming up, at a safe physical distance, and joining in song to honor workers like these recent examples in in Italy and in Seattle. There’s a global movement to bring joy to youngsters with a Teddy Bear Scavenger Hunt, and charming stories of neighbors reaching out with the written word and bridging the gap between generations. Kids stuck at home looking for something to do might enjoy participating in this pen pal program. Or just have them get creative with a thank-you sign and post it at the local supermarket. 

Lend support to the brave holding up the front lines

Do you know a healthcare worker who could use a hand? Ask them how you can help and what they need. Many hospitals have adopted “make a mask” programs to help provide workers with breathing protection. You can join Providence in their 100 Million Mask Challenge.

Of all the ways we can thank our essential workers, perhaps the most important is to help ensure their safety by following current CDC guidelines on personal hygiene protocol. Wear a mask whenever heading outdoors or interacting with essential workers (it’s easy to make your own). And remember to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

Find more ideas and inspiration to help Create the Good when you search local volunteer opportunities here

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