10 Ways to Show Gratitude to our Heroes

The stay-at-home approach to fight Coronavirus has shone a bright spotlight on the value of essential workers. We would not be able to get through this pandemic without dedication from grocery store employees, delivery personnel, city employees and—of course—emergency and health care workers like Direct Support Professionals. These people do not have the luxury of working from home to deliver their essential goods and services.

Our dependence on one-another has never been more apparent. Families of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can appreciate this reality more than most due to their regular dependence on others for critical services. 

Now is time to make an extra effort to thank those who we have depended on for so much during this extraordinary time.

Ways of showing gratitude

Showing gratitude is simple, easy and inexpensive. Regardless of the way you may choose to express it, it is even more special if your loved one helps in the creation and/or virtual delivery of the gesture. Here are ten options to consider:

  1. Write a thank-you card. There’s nothing more personal than taking a few minutes to express sincerity in a thank-you card.*
  2. Create a sign. It doesn’t have to be a fancy yard sign to catch attention. A simple, colorful sign in your window is a great way to show appreciation. You can also take a photo of your sign and use social media to reach a broader audience.  
  3. Make sidewalk and driveway chalk messages. This colorful approach is a nice way to generate a smile for visitors and those walking by your home. Share your chalk and stimulate neighbors to do the same.
  4. Report your gratitude. If you are pleased with someone’s efforts, tell the organization they represent. Some organizations have formal recognition programs that will turn your well wish into much more.
  5. Gift a handmade picture or art project. Put your home craft projects to work by sharing them with the many essential workers in your loved one’s life.   
  6. Give – Non-profits need your help more than ever to address unforeseen costs due to COVID-19. You can often donate outright or in the name of an essential worker you would like to recognize.  Click here to donate to AbleLight and help us continue giving the best care possible to the people we support.
  7. Donate Personal Protection Equipment. Nearly all essential organizations  need personal protection equipment (PPE). Many local agencies will accept your extra equipment, and if sewing is one of your talents, you can provide masks to essential workers independently or through an organization such as Face Mask Warriors.
  8. Send a fun e-card. Send a digital smile! Send an e-card to a person that AbleLight supports – your loved one can help pick out the image and craft a message with meaning that will brighten anyone’s day.
  9. Volunteer while being safe. There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved while remaining safe.
  10. Tip.Show your generosity to your delivery driver and take-out restaurant worker when finalizing your online order. 

Our world may look and feel a little different these days, but it is refreshing to see the power of what we can accomplish together. We will get through this together!

At AbleLight, we are looking for candidates across the country who demonstrate these qualities to join our growing operations team. If becoming a DSP sounds like a fit for you or someone you know, please visit our careers page to learn more about the job and how you can apply. It may just be the most rewarding job you’ll ever have.

*AbleLight will happily distribute cards to the brave DSPs working in our homes if you’d like to thank one of these awesome heroes. You can send cards to: AbleLight Volunteer Services, 1615 Vance Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46805