Ideas for how you can join the movement and participate in #GivingTuesdayNow.

Nurses. Doctors. Childcare providers. Delivery drivers. Warehouse workers. First responders. Caregivers. Truck drivers. Cleaners. 211 Resource Specialists. Food bank directors. So many people are working on the front-lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. They continue their vital roles to help keep our community safe, healthy, and running. To honor and celebrate their ongoing sacrifice, we encourage you to say thank you!

Say Thank You on May 5

Of course, we give thanks for these essential workers who have tirelessly and bravely continued to do their jobs every day. But on May 5, United Way of Central Iowa invites you to join us as one part of a bigger day of giving and unity called #GivingTuesdayNow.

Every year, people come together on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving for #GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement. As an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, we are joining nonprofits and individual people around the world in a special #GivingTuesdayNow event. On May 5, people around the world will take action to collectively drive an influx of generosity, volunteerism, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world – with a focus on supporting our front-line workers.

8 Ways to Say Thank You

Saying thank you is easy. You can just say it – out loud – to someone you know who is supporting our community right now. Or you can choose one or more of the suggestions below to show our front-line workers how much our community appreciates them!

  1. Donate a meal, food, or a sweet surprise.
    Who doesn’t love a free meal? When donating a meal to a person, family, hospital, or other facility, coordinate with the location to ensure the delivery can be done efficiently and safely. If you can’t make the delivery yourself, consider ordering a meal from a local business that can safely deliver on your behalf.

    Other ways to share a delicious note of thanks: donate nonperishable food items to your local food bank, coordinate a delivery of donuts to the police station, or consider leaving a prepackaged sweet treat in your mailbox with a thank you note for your mail carrier.

  2. Volunteer
    United Way of Central Iowa’s Get Connected volunteer portal offers hundreds of volunteer opportunities and donation drives that support our community’s most urgent needs. Make masks for childcare providers and care center employees, deliver for Meals on Wheels, or make no-sew t-shirt grocery bags for the Food Bank of Iowa or Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) food pantry.

    You may want to call the organization in advance to see how you can support their greatest needs either from home or at the organization on #GivingTuesdayNow.
  1. Make a sign for your window or front yard.
    Make someone’s commute to work brighter by posting a sign in your window or front yard telling front-line workers how much they mean to our community. This is a great project for kids!

  2. Be kind.
    Essential workers who are keeping grocery, convenience, and pharmacy stores open see a large number of people every day. When you need to shop at one of these stores, be respectful of the employees. Tell them thank you, wear a protective mask, keep your distance, and be kind. These small acts can help workers feel appreciated and safer at their jobs.

  3. Share a message on social media.
    As we all keep our physical distance, connecting online has become even more important. Using social media is a great way to thank front-line workers. You can tag people you know or send a general message using the hashtags #FrontlineLove, #FrontlineHeroes, #COVIDHeroes or #InThisTogether. On May 5, you can also re-share posts from our Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn channels.

  4. Leave items for delivery workers.
    Delivery workers are putting in long hours and many find it hard to get to the store. Help them by leaving items such as water bottles, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, pre-packaged snacks, and other essentials on your doorstep with a note encouraging them to take it. Before sharing, sanitize the items as best as you can.

  5. Advocate for them by sending an email to Congress.
    Show front-line workers you appreciate their work by helping them get the support they need. During this time of uncertainty and economic crisis, many people, including those still working, need a boost to make ends meet. Vital services like 211; the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit; and SNAP can provide relief for front-line workers – and others – in need. You can ask your representative to increase funding for these services. Use this form to email your member of Congress.

  6. Stay at home.
    The most important thing you can do to thank front-line workers is to stay home. When we limit our outings to essential trips, we limit the spread of COVID-19. When outside, use social distancing to stay at least six feet away from others.

Even though we are apart, we can still #LIVEUNITED. We are stronger together!

Want to do more for your community? The Greater Des Moines Disaster Recovery Fund is supporting people in our community impacted by COVID-19. Your donation makes it easier to help more people.Disaster Recovery Fund

TAGS: Health, Volunteer, Essential Needs

Sara Engelhart

About The Author: Sara Engelhart

Strategic Communications Content & Media Manager