By: Robert G. Cruz, Laura Escobar, William White, and Anton Timms
Nurses. Doctors. Grocery store employees. Delivery drivers. Warehouse workers. First responders. Truck drivers. Cleaners. There are so many people who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak. They continue to help keep our community safe and the world running. To honor and celebrate their ongoing sacrifice, let’s say thank you!
On May 5 we encouraged the entire Bay Area community to say thank you to the essential workers who have tirelessly and bravely continued to do their jobs. Our effort was part of a bigger day of giving and unity called #GivingTuesdayNow. We still want to encourage you to show that the Bay Area is United for frontline workers.
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!
1. Donate a meal
Everyone loves a free meal. If you are thinking about donating a meal, be sure to coordinate with the location so your delivery can be done efficiently and safely. If you can’t make the delivery yourself, you can buy a meal instead. Many national and local businesses are delivering meals to support frontline workers.
If you want to support local organizations helping families in need with groceries and meals, consider volunteering with: San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank, Alameda County Community Food Bank, Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, Napa Valley Food Bank and Meals on Wheels.
Remember 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, and grocery clerks.
2. Make a sign for your window or front yard
Make someone’s commute to work brighter by posting a sign in your window or front yard telling frontline workers how much they mean to our community. This is a great project for kids!
3. 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.
4. 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 #BayAreaStrong. On May 5, you can also reshare posts from our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn channels.
5. 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.
6. Advocate for Workers in Need
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. California State Earned Income Tax Credit can provide relief for frontline workers – and others – in need. You can ask Governor Newson to act NOW to protect ALL Californians who are being impacted by business closures, reduced hours, and financial uncertainty by expanding the California Earned Income Tax Credit to all workers regardless of immigration status.
7. Stay at home
The most important thing you can do to thank frontline workers is to stay home. When we all 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.
Even though we are apart, we can still be United. Let’s show frontline workers that we are in this together!
Remember, you can also GIVE to our United Way Bay Area COVID-19 Community Relief Fund