Man in raincoat pushing grocery carts

This Labor Day it feels particularly important to celebrate those in your community that dedicate considerable amounts of time to serving for the greater good. From surprising a nurse with a home improvement project to delivering meals and waters to hospitals and emergency care facilities, there are plenty of ways for you to revere the local workers most essential to your community.

 

At the Car Wash

Cleaning car with soap and sponge

Celebrate the dedication and commitment essential workers have for your community by holding a car wash in their honor. Set up in a location near a hospital with your volunteers and put your message of thanks with your free offer on tarps all around the area: free car wash by hand if they show their hospital or clinic badges. Ask non hospital personnel for a small donation fee, helping to offset the cost of materials like rags, buckets for water, soap, heavy duty tarps for protection & easy cleanup, and wax to ensure cars sparkle and shine. Gather friends, family - anyone in the neighborhood to compile a rolodex of participants willing to assist with the project. And you don’t have to stop with those on the front lines of medicine. You can organize a car wash for teachers and paraprofessionals, local grocery store workers, or fire fighters. It is through this celebration of our essential workers that we make Labor Day more than just a picnic in the park.

 

Just the Essentials

Essential workers extend beyond medical centers and into the fields of public service. Sanitation workers put in the dirty work, day-in and day-out. Pay it forward and back this Labor Day with helpful care packages, tailor-made to fit the needs of everyday essential employees. Get some takeout and have it ready when it's time for them to make their rounds. Or better still, do some homemade baking and wrap it up for them. Nothing says love like a happy stomach.

 

What about your mail deliverer? Or the local post office or firehouse? Gather the neighborhood kids and spend an afternoon crafting gifts. Signs, thank you cards, tie-dying shirts - any and all ideas are good. Sit down in your backyard lifestyle area with the patio furniture cover set on to protect the furniture in your workspace and go to town. If you know of essential workers who have to provide their own safety kits, fill bags with items like hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, masks, and disposable gloves. These items go a long way for essential workers and are the perfect way to say thank you for their hard work just in time for Labor Day.

 

Put the Best Foot Forward

Every town has a server at their favorite restaurant or shop clerk at their local hardware store that lights up the room with their sheer dedication to providing stellar customer service. Pay back that kindness with a small project for that special waiter or cashier in your community. Partner with a small business in your community to set up a small home lifestyle project for one (or more) of the employees in their workplace. These Labor Day initiatives can include anything from giving their yard a head-to-toe once-over to battening down the hatches of their backyard garden with heavy duty tarps for storm season. No matter the gesture, celebrate the value of an essential worker in the customer service industry. 

 

Round of Applause

Medical staff standing in a group

You’ve seen the videos going viral on your community Facebook feed. Now it’s time to pull off a little appreciation campaign of your own. Organize a rallying cry for the essential workers in your own neighborhood with a parade that is one parts round of applause and two parts pomp and circumstance. Make signs out of materials you have lying around at home or you can go even bolder and put your message on a tarp. Have the artists in your cul de sac draw out a chalk mural celebrating what essential workers do for your community. Then, when the working day is done, surprise your neighbors with a special hurrah for their contributions. 

 

Inside-Out

But what about the essential workers in your own family? Every family has someone earning a living in the field of essential work and it’s time to celebrate their contributions. Pull off your waterproof patio furniture covers and serve your nephew takeout brunch from his favorite local spot. Gift your niece a charming new statement necklace from the unique boutique in your local downtown marketplace. In doing this, you celebrate the hard work and contributions of your own family while supporting the small business economy in your own backyard, capturing the spirit of Labor Day.