Gifts for essential workers

Breakfast for 75 healthcare workers donated and delivered at O'Connor Hospital.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, essential workers are still working hard to keep our shuttered society functioning. They are not only dealing with the stress and fear of being exposed, but also the exhaustion of working longer shifts.

Every time essential workers go to work, people are acknowledging their personal sacrifice to work in a pandemic. When workers are shown kindness by strangers, it often gives them a feeling of hope and appreciation. If you are inclined to give something to an essential worker, here are some suggestions:

  • Nonperishable foods and household essentials - Because of their increased work schedules, essential workers may not have the extra time to do their own shopping. Dropping off some groceries can be very helpful to many workers.
  • Personal Protective Equipment - Never underestimate the gift of safety. With so many places in short supply of gloves, masks, and sanitizers, these items are desperately needed for all essential workers.   
  • Coffee - Essential workers, like first responders and medical staff, are likely subsisting on a lot of caffeine. Coffee retailers like Starbucks and Peet’s both offer large serving sized coffee to go, perfect for large groups. There are also energy drinks that give workers that extra jolt of caffeine.  
  • Local food delivery - Offering to bring food not only feeds the essential workers but you are also helping a local restaurant stay afloat. If you are providing something to a department, call ahead to see how many people are working at the time. It will give you a better headcount for planning your food donation.  
  • Grab and go snacks - Workers do not always have long breaks, but maybe they are snacking along their shift. Small individually sized snacks like jerky, nuts, granola bars or protein bars, provide energy to keep bodies moving.   
  • Uniform Laundry Services - Medical workers and first responders need their scrubs and uniforms laundered separately to avoid contamination. If a local dry cleaner is open and has gift cards, having the ability to drop uniforms off to get cleaned is one less headache for frontline workers. For medical workers, even a gift card for buying more scrubs would be helpful.
  • Things for relaxation - When an essential worker comes home, the first thing they may want to do is take a hot shower and just relax. Reading a book, listening to music, or enjoying a glass of their favorite drink may be all someone wants to do before bed. Gift cards to iTunes, Audible, or a streaming service can help those weary workers zone out. Even a subscription to popular meditation, mental health or mobile wellness apps can help alleviate stress.    
  • Something to look forward to - We all look forward to a return to normalcy, and many people have been missing out on small pamperings. Haircuts, manicures, massages, or any other small luxury treat will be a personal priority when the pandemic is over. 

A small token of appreciation shows our essential workers that their efforts do not go unnoticed. We are grateful for the work all essential workers perform.  You can also show your appreciation by flying the American flag.

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