Creative Ways to Say Thank You to Essential Workers

Published April 7, 2020
Potted plant with thank you note on office table

Coming up with creative ways to express and say thank you to essential workers during a crisis is rewarding. You can find numerous ways to let people who put their lives on the line know how much they are appreciated!

1. Pizza for All With a Video

Food is always a great way to show appreciation to those working hard, especially healthcare workers and rescue personnel. You can order pizzas and have them delivered to the fire station or to the nurses working in the ICU. Make these special by including a printed message taped to the pizza box lid with a link to video messages from those donating the pizzas.

2. Buy $1 Lottery Tickets to Hand Out

Buy $50 of $1 lottery tickets and give to those you come across doing those providing a service while risking their lives. If you're living through a pandemic, handle the tickets wearing a pair of gloves and place each one in a resealable plastic bag.

3. Basket of Coffee

When a crisis hits, workers don't get as much sleep as they normally do. Healthcare workers and distribution workers pull long hours. Order a generous basket of various coffees and treats to for a late-night pick-me-up. Have the basket delivered during their shift with a thank you note for their tireless dedication.

Gift basket on gray background

4. Amazon Gift Cards for Movie Rentals

A virtual amazon gift card that's the price of a movie rental is a wonderful way to say thank you, so that grocery store worker can enjoy a little entertainment during their off time. You'll need their email address or cell phone number so you can send them the gift card, be sure to include a gift card to brighten their day further.

5. Share the Warmth

A blizzard can shut everything down. Service providers work in harsh conditions to restore power and other vital services. Take them a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and a warm pastry. If you have packets of hand and foot warmers and/or an extra toboggan or knitted cap, pass them out. If they are allowed, invite them inside to warm up whenever they need.

6. Hand and Foot Massages

During a disaster, rescue workers are on their feet constantly. If you're a massage therapist, set up a booth at the staging area to provide hand and foot massages. If you know other massage therapists, form a group to provide ongoing care to the disaster relief workers.

Reflexologist applying pressure to foot

7. Refreshment Station for Truckers

If your group is looking for a way to say thank you to truck drivers who are keeping the economy moving during a disaster or other crisis, work with your local government and DOT (Depart of Transportation) to set up a refreshment station off the main highway. Set up a tent with tables and chairs and serve local cuisine.

  • If you live in an area where barbecue is renowned, serve sandwiches with chips or French fries, depending on your set-up.
  • Serve lots of hot coffee. sodas and water.
  • Send each truck driver off with a care package of snacks and a bottle of water.

8. Family Day for Law Enforcement

Organizations and businesses can come together to show appreciation to your local law enforcement. Once your crisis is over, send them on a fun family day to a local amusement park. Provide each officer with free passes for their entire immediate family. If your area doesn't have an amusement park, substitute by setting up a town carnival with lots of games and prizes and of course free food.

9. After Hours Shopping

If you have a business, such as a grocery store, you can thank hospital and rescue workers during a crisis by staying open late just for them to shop. This can take away much of the stress they have in trying to get the food and supplies their families need.

10. Restaurant Family Night

If your town has gone through a crisis, you can thank all the workers who tirelessly labored to get service back up and restore your town by hosting a family night. If you're normally closed one day, open up to serve free meals to these service workers as your way of saying thank you.

Man sitting at table giving fist bump to waiter

11. Pub Crawl

If your town or city has several pubs, organize fellow pub owners to host a free pub crawl to a specific group of essential workers, such as fire and rescue, law enforcement, hospital workers and/or power company workers. Offer restaruant or entertainment gift certificates for those who choose not to imbibe.

12. Free Citywide Concert for Service Workers

Get your town back on track after a crisis or disaster by organizing a free concert for service workers and their families. Get food and beverage vendors to chip in and various civic groups to off-set vendor and venue costs.

13. Message Plane Fly Over

You can say "Thank You" from a group, business or town with an airplane message banner. Have the plane fly over various areas of your town so all kinds of essential workers see.

Finding Creative Ways to Say Thank You to Essential Workers

During a time of crisis, essential workers give of themselves tirelessly. You can find small and big ways to express your gratitude to them in a meaningful way.

Creative Ways to Say Thank You to Essential Workers