Real-life heroes walk among us every day. The police officers, the EMTs, firefighters, and those who are serving in the military give up enormous amounts of personal autonomy and safety to keep the rest of us out of harm’s way.
If you don’t know any people in these fields personally, you may find it difficult to express your appreciation to them. Here are a few things you can do to let them know that you appreciate their hard work and the sacrifices they are making.
Bring them food
Working odd hours and being called out for emergencies is a normal part of life for first responders. By baking a batch of cookies to drop at the station, or sending one of these quick and easy beef recipes for a meal, you can help them eat while on the run. They’ll appreciate one fewer drive-through meal as well as your thoughtfulness.
Another way to show your support is through personalized custom t-shirts. Wear your support in your community to let everyone know you appreciate these workers. If you know a first responder personally, you could design a custom shirt that they can wear while they aren’t at work.
First responders miss out on time with their families regularly, and the stress of all of the situations that they are involved in can cause long-lasting issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Several foundations provide everything from sports tickets for first responders and their families to providing support for their mental health. Before donating, be sure that you are giving to a legitimate charity; when in doubt, donate to a local foundation. Your donations keep these programs running.
Send a letter
Writing a note of heartfelt appreciation can be a great way to show your support, especially if the first responder has helped someone in your family or someone you know. They have to put up with a lot of less than ideal situations, including putting their health and lives at risk.
You could go an extra step further and write a letter to the local newspaper explaining what was done for you and by whom, and give the individual or precinct a shout out on your social media page (or theirs!) thanking them for their service.
Send a gift basket
A gift basket stuffed with practical items is a great way to show support. It could hold things like individually wrapped snacks, gift cards to restaurants, small packages of Kleenex to take on the go, hand sanitizer, hand warmers, pens, or other small items that would come in handy and be easy to carry around.
First responders face situations every day that are more difficult than most of us will ever know. The day in, day out choices that they have to make, the hardships they and their families go through, and the parts of their personal lives that they have to give up to serve are definitely worthy of recognition.