8 Ways to Thank Frontline Workers

Kandice RileyAnnouncement, United Way Events

How will you participate in #GivingTuesdayNow?

Nurses. Doctors. Grocery store employees. Delivery drivers. Warehouse workers. First responders. Truck drivers. Cleaners. Nonprofit staff and volunteers. There are so many people who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak. They continue to help keep our Ozarks community safe and the world running. To honor and celebrate their ongoing sacrifice, let’s say thank you!

May 5: Say Thank You

Join United Way of the Ozarks on May 5th as we rally the entire community to say thank you to the essential workers who have tirelessly and bravely continued to do their jobs. Our effort will be one part of a bigger day of giving and unity called #GivingTuesdayNow.

Every year people come together on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving for #GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement. As an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, we are joining nonprofits and individual people around the world in a special #GivingTuesdayNow event. On May 5th, people around the world will take action to collectively drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.

We want to show the world that the Ozarks are UNITED for frontline workers!

8 Ways to Say Thank You

There are many ways to say thank you. Below are some ideas our staff put together. Choose one – or more – so frontline workers can know how much our community appreciates them! If you have other ideas let us know by emailing [email protected] and we will add them to the list.

1. Donate a meal

doctors at cox south ER holding boxes of pizza delivered by Vito's Kitchen

Staff at Cox South ER enjoyed pizza donated by Vito’s Kitchen.

Everyone loves a free meal. Meal donations can be a great way to thank hospital workers as well as the staff at your doctor’s office, EMTs, police officers, firefighters, homeless shelter staff, food pantry workers, and grocery clerks. If you are thinking about donating a meal, be sure to coordinate with the location so your delivery can be done efficiently and safely. The Downtown Springfield Association has a list of our downtown restaurants that would love your business! carGO is also a great local option for food delivery.

2. Make a sign for your window, front yard, or driveway

Make someone’s commute to work brighter by posting a sign in your window or front yard or using sidewalk chalk to tell frontline workers how much they mean to our community. This is a great project for kids!

3. Make masks at home

As our community begins to re-open for business, our nonprofits expect to see an increase in demand for services. Hundreds of nonprofit staff, volunteers, and clients will need to continue taking precautions to stay healthy. This includes frequent hand-washing, physical distancing, and using cloth face covers when around others. If you have the time, skills, and supplies, we need volunteers like you to make reusable cloth masks for our nonprofit community. Learn more here.

4. Be kind

Essential workers who are keeping grocery, convenience, and pharmacy stores open see large groups of people every day. When you must shop at one of these stores, be respectful of the people working there. Tell them thank you, wear a protective mask, keep your distance from employees, and be kind to team members and other customers. These small acts can help workers feel appreciated and safer at their jobs.

5. Share a message on social media

As we all keep our physical distance, connecting online has become even more important. Using social media is a great way to thank frontline workers. You can tag people you know or send a general message using the hashtags #FrontlineLove, #FrontlineHeroes, #COVIDHeroes, or #InThisTogether. On May 5th, you can also reshare posts from our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram channels.

6. Leave items for delivery workers

Delivery workers are putting in long hours and many find it hard to get to the store. Help them by leaving items such as water bottles, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, snacks, and other essentials that will get them through their day or save them a trip to the store. Remember to sanitize the items as best as you can and leave instructions so the delivery people do the same.

7. Email Congress

Show frontline workers you appreciate their work by helping them get the support they need. During this time of uncertainty and economic crisis, many people, including those still working, need a boost to make ends meet. Vital services like 211, the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, and SNAP can provide relief for frontline workers – and others – in need. You can ask your representative to increase funding for these services. Use this form to email your member of Congress.

8. Follow our local guidelines when you have to leave home

The most important thing you can do to thank frontline workers is to stay home. When we stay home, we limit the spread of COVID-19. So limit outings to essential trips to the grocery store, medical appointments, picking up prescriptions, walking pets, and helping the vulnerable. When outside, use social distancing to stay at least six feet away from others. You can find the guidelines from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department here and guidelines from the state of Missouri here.

Even though we are apart, we can still be UNITED. Let’s show frontline workers that we are in this together!

Want to Do More for Our Community?

United Way of the Ozarks is supporting people in our community impacted by COVID-19. Your donation makes it easier to help more people. Take the Community Challenge and donate here!

collage of photos of people holding "live united" signs