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Supporting essential workers and each other

November 30, 2020

We know how generous our community is, and with the latest surge of COVID-19 coinciding with a season of giving, we want to share a few ideas of how you can safely show your appreciation to healthcare workers.

While donating food is an act of nourishment that impacts the giver and receiver alike, it can be difficult to coordinate for an organization as large as ours. With that in mind, here are our Top 10 ways you can safely show your appreciation for essential workers and your community as a whole as we navigate the pandemic together.

  1. More than anything, show your support by staying home, wearing a mask, washing your hands and practicing social distancing.
  2. Let your home show how you feel! Put a sign in your front yard celebrating the essential workers in your neighborhood. These can be handmade or purchased; many small businesses on Etsy are selling clever yard signs that express gratitude and add a bit of flair to your lawn. If you have a big front window, create a “thank you” message that can be seen from the road.
  3. Make a donation to a local charity in honor of a healthcare worker you know. For example, consider donating non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and other essentials for families in need in our area. See this list for information from some of our charitable partners.
  4. Create a family activity by coloring images like these. For safety and hygiene reasons, we aren’t able to accept colored pictures as hard copies at our locations; however, we’d LOVE to see your pictures shared on Instagram or Facebook.  Use #NCHHealthcareHeroes so our team members and all of our followers are sure to see them.
  5. Make a donation to the NCH Foundation. We are grateful for gifts of any amount, and those gifts help us to provide care in our community and support frontline workers. 
  6. Nominate a nurse or staff member for an award! Nurses are eligible for DAISY awards, which recognize excellence in nursing all around the world. GEM (Go the Extra Mile) awards recognize contributions and compassionate care given by non-nursing staff members.
  7. Connect socially! Make a quick video expressing your thanks and post it to your Facebook or Instagram account. If you use #NCHHealthcareHeroes, we’ll see and potentially share it!
  8. If you have access to medical-grade supplies, consider donating them. We regularly update this list of supplies we need. (Please note: While we appreciate the thought, we are unable to accept donations of supplies that are not on this list.)
  9. Read and listen to the experts. Stay informed about what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health are recommending for your safety and protection, and follow their guidelines. 
  10. And finally, practice kindness with everyone. As we approach the year’s end, recognize that we’ve been going through this for a long time, and everyone – including yourself – has days when they struggle. We are all in this together, and we’ll get out of it the same way. In the meantime, find an occasion to smile at a stranger from behind your mask. Let someone merge into traffic. Pay for the person behind you in the coffee drive-thru line. You just might make someone’s day, whether they are an essential worker or not.

One day, we’ll look back with pride at how we connected as a community during this time. We are so grateful for your support.