First responders have a job that few could emotionally and physically stomach. Their jobs are tough and often taken for granted. There are over 1 million first responders throughout the United States, 750,000 of which are volunteers. These men and women daily put their lives on the line with little thanks or recognition from the general public. So let’s do better! Here are a few ways to show those who keep us safe how much you appreciate the hard work they put in day in and day out.
- Cook a meal
This is an easy way to show you care. Make a meal or baked goods and deliver to your local PD, EMS or FD. Long hours of dropping everything and running probably often disturbs meal times and they would greatly appreciate a home cooked meal as well as the thought behind it.
- Give gift cards
If you don’t have time for a home cooked meal of if that’s not your thing, you can show your appreciation in a different way. Maybe you enjoy giving gifts to people. A good gift idea might be dropping off a variety of restaurant gift cards that they can use when life is busy.
- Donate to their fundraisers
Often first responders host fundraisers to support their departments and programs. When you see them trying to raise money by putting on an event stop by; get involved. A little money can go a long way, but even if you don’t have money to give simply get out and show your support for the work that they do.
- A simple “thank you”
It is as easy as that: say “thank you.” When you are out and see a first responder eating dinner, take the time to show your appreciation. It helps people keep going on those hard days when they know that people appreciate the work they do.
- Send a thank you note
There’s something special about receiving a handwritten note of appreciation. It means that someone cared enough to not only express their thanks, but to take time out of their busy day to sit down and put their thoughts to paper and mail it.
- Use word of mouth
Speaking positively about first responders is probably one of the biggest things that you can do for them. Good energy and passion are contagious. If you are speaking positively about something chances are it will catch on with someone else as well.
Anything is better than nothing–let’s do something!