For many people, the holiday season is a time to celebrate, reflect on the past year and give back to those in need. While the holidays might look different this year, there are still plenty of ways for us to give back to the healthcare community that has continued to show up with perseverance, empathy and dedication to keeping our communities safe. Below, you’ll find five ways to safely show your support for healthcare workers in your community.
Send Notes of Gratitude to a Local Hospital
While it’s difficult to adequately capture how grateful we are for everything healthcare workers have done this year to keep us safe, writing a note of gratitude is a great place to start. Take time to write notes of appreciation to local healthcare workers, paramedics and service members to encourage them and show your gratitude for all their hard work.
Donating blood can be a lifesaving service and help healthcare organizations provide crucial care for patients. Earlier in the year, due to the pandemic, many blood drives had to be canceled and some hospitals are still experiencing a blood shortage. If you are healthy and able to donate, consider making a donation through a Red Cross blood center. You can read more about how blood and plasma centers follow strict Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to keep you safe.
Put together care packages with everyday essentials
Putting together and sending care packages to healthcare workers in your community is a great, tangible way to show your appreciation this holiday season. Here are some care package items to consider:
Comfortable socks: Many essential workers are on their feet most of the day. Gift them with a warm and comfortable pair of socks that they can slip on to support their feet during or after work.
Hand sanitizer and lotion: Healthcare workers are continuously applying and reapplying sanitizer throughout the day, so consider including an effective and hydrating hand sanitizer in your package. With frequent hand washing and applying of hand sanitizer comes the side effect of dry hands. Adding a nourishing lotion can help soothe sensitive or irritated hands.
A gift certificate to a local business: Healthcare staff are working long hours on top of the mental and physical toll of the pandemic. Treat the healthcare worker in your life to a gift card to their favorite local restaurant. Not only does this offer them a break from being on their feet to make meals before or after work, it’s also a great way to support local businesses that have been hit hard this year.
Volunteer Your Time – Virtually or with Letters of Encouragement
Many long-term care facilities have a volunteer program that can help you connect with patients who have limited opportunities to be with family and friends. Offering to be a pen pal, making phone calls or sending letters to lonely residents can help lift their spirits and support healthcare workers who are balancing many different tasks and might not be able to spend as much quality time with patients as they would like. A simple phone call or letter to get to know a resident can go a long way.
Take Care of Yourself and Others
A simple way to show healthcare workers you care is to make good hand hygiene a priority, practice physical distancing when possible and wear a mask. You can support your community members’ health by helping senior or other individuals who need assistance picking up essential items or by donating supplies and canned goods to a local shelter.
Healthcare heroes around the world have gone above and beyond to help keep our communities safe, and their efforts will continue during and after this holiday season. There are many ways to show your support, but we hope these tips serve as a good starting place.
Have a tip or suggestion on how to support healthcare workers during the holiday season? Let us know below!