We’ve read a lot about “essential workers” on the “frontlines” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care employees, family caregivers, police and firefighters, grocery store personnel, delivery drivers, and staff at senior living communities immediately come to mind.

Then consider the repair person who comes to fix your refrigerator, or the factory workers who provide the goods and services we need. Consider as well the clerks standing behind the Plexiglas at your pharmacy and food bank, and think of shelter employees and volunteers. The list of essential workers is millions of people long. How do we thank those that are keeping us safe?

Ways to Say Thank You

People of any age can say thank you, whether they are a resident in a senior care community or a small child at home.

We say thank you by keeping essential workers safer—practicing social distancing, wearing masks while in public, and practicing frequent handwashing.

The simplest and most direct way to show our appreciation is just by saying thank you when you meet one of these people. Consider the added stress and worry with which they may be contending. Voicing your thanks demonstrates your acknowledgment of the service they are providing

At home, you can put a sign in your window thanking essential workers, like the postal worker who delivers your mail, or the police officer driving by, or the nurse who lives across the street from you. Thank-you signs are great projects for young children, allowing them to be creative while teaching them about gratitude and respect for others.

If you know a health care worker who is putting in many hours at a hospital, or who works at a senior living, care and services organization like Bethesda, perhaps you could mow her or his lawn, run some errands, deliver items they may need, or just place a thank you card in their mailbox.

Thanking Essential Workers by Providing Support

We can say “thank-you” to essential workers that are supporting our community by joining in efforts to help them and others who are in need.

BJC HealthCare provides an extensive list of ways and items to donate to its hospitals. If you wish to contribute please see the page to find out how to help.

The United Way of Greater St. Louis lists opportunities for donations, volunteer positions, as well as supplies needed in the St. Louis area.

Bethesda is looking for face mask donations and financial contributions to the Ken and Garie Perry Readiness Fund.

There are many ways to get involved. Churches, foodbanks, charities, and homeless shelters also provide essential supplies and services to people in need, particularly now with so many people unemployed.

Follow these tips to thank the caregivers and essential workers in your life. We’d love to hear how you are thanking essential workers! Share your story on our Facebook page.