I’m a big believer in leading from the front when it comes to spreading joy in my community. There are so many vital workers across the US who, if we’re not careful, will go unappreciated. And after we’ve had a year like 2020, they need all the appreciation they can get! That is why today’s blog is all about giving back and showing just how grateful you are to all those around you in your area.
It’s been a crazy last 12 months, but I’m acutely aware that so many have gone above and beyond to make this time feel as normal and manageable as possible, doing their jobs even at personal risk because of the virus. I want to show these people my thanks and support. Without the incredible hospital staff or the amazingly flexible teachers at my children’s school, for example, I don’t know how I would have coped.
And I know so many of you feel the same way. We’re all indebted to these unsung heroes dotted around our towns and cities across the country. That’s why I’m sharing some ways you can give back and show your support – and why I’m doing the same. I’m not thinking anything too expensive or crazy because we all know our Christmas gift list are probably already too long. But simple touching and thoughtful gifts that’ll put a smile on the faces of people who have worked so hard to make sure we’ve stayed comfortable and secure.
So here are four ways you can show gratitude to local community heroes – postal workers, delivery drivers, service workers, and more.
I’ll be trying all of these ideas out over the next month. Let me know if they work out for you!
1) Tasty treats will always be appreciated
It’s so simple, but it’s a great way to show your gratitude and give back to local community workers. Buying some tasty doughnuts from a local bakery and delivering them to the staff at your local hospital or hospice is a perfect, small way to make your local health workers feel like the champions they truly are.
I always like to buy from small businesses, and there are some great deals out there. You can drop off some chocolates for the teachers your kid’s schools. When I was a journalist, I’d sometimes bake a treat and bring them in for colleagues on their birthday. Going above and beyond is all about making sure those unsung heroes in your life get the recognition they deserve.
2) Handmade thank you notes will make someone’s day
This is something my family and I have done in the past, and we’re definitely going to do it again this year! We’ll leave a handmade card for our local postal worker taped to our mailbox. If you want to give a thoughtful gift this year, but don’t want to spend too much money, give a little of your time instead. Go handmade and craft something. In 2019, over 15 billion letters and parcels were delivered by the postal service. I think they’re doing a fantastic job, and I love this simple way of showing my appreciation.
And by the way, this can also extend to any delivery driver. Even a handwritten note taped to your door is enough to make somebody’s day. Give it a try!
3) Give a service worker a personalized bottle of water
My family and I create similar gifts for the garbage and recycling collectors who come round every week to perform a very vital service. As well as leaving a nice thank you note every year, I’ll also leave out water bottles that they’re more than welcome to take. Click here for some nice Thank You labels that you can print and tape around the bottles.
They’re not particularly expensive on my part, but I’ve been told by the workers just how much they appreciate the sentiment. Conditions can be tough. If you’ve forgotten your drink or snack or have already run out, this handy gift idea is a refreshing break and a perfect way to show your appreciation. Why not use my free thank you water bottle labels? Print them out and get started!
4) Send a care package to one of our troops
I mentioned this in my 8+ Easy Ways to Give Back blog, and I want to bring it up again. We are so lucky to live in the kind of country we do, with freedoms that others around the world sadly don’t get to enjoy. America isn’t perfect, but it’s our troops who ensure we live in one of the safest countries in the world. They make that possible. Give thanks to them by sending a care package overseas. Every holiday season, my family and I fill a shoebox with the most ‘USA’ items we can think of to give them a taste of home.
Check out Operation Shoebox or Operation Gratitude for easy ways you can give back.
Hopefully, you’ve been inspired into giving and now have enough gift ideas to keep you busy for the next few months on how to show gratitude to local community heroes! As always, I want to hear from you. What presents and small treats do you give to your local community heroes? Let me know – I want to adopt your traditions too!