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How to Thank the Nurses in Your Life

How to Thank the Nurses in Your Life

Nurses Week was May 6-12—but we can thank nurses for all they are doing to protect us every week.

Because these everyday heroes are working round the clock to treat and care for those who are COVID-19 positive, it’s especially important to celebrate and honor the nurses in our communities this year. While we can’t throw them a massive thank you party as much as we may want to (social distancing and all), there are small ways you and your family can thank the nurses in your life that have a huge impact.

Participate in the 7pm shout out for health care workers.

You’ve likely seen the videos of city residents clapping, yelling, whistling, banging pots and pans, and even singing (from the safety of their apartments) at 7pm to thank health care workers. Does it sometimes seem like you hear sirens every day at 7pm on the dot? The fire and police departments just might be showing their gratitude, too. So join in—it’s one time you won’t mind so much that your kids are being loud!—and if your neighborhood doesn’t currently do this, message a few friends to see if they’ll join you!

Donate a meal or money to feed health care workers. 

Health care workers are busy caring for COVID-19 patients every day, that many of them don’t have the time to even order food or run out for a coffee break, according to The New York Times. So what better way to say thank you than by helping to provide meals, coffee, and snacks to the front line workers? Many local restaurants are raising funds to make and donate meals to hospitals. (Bonus: It also helps those restaurants stay afloat during quarantine!) Butterfield Market, Dough Doughnuts, Everyman Espresso, and so many more restaurants in NYC are raising money to donate food.

Or you can donate to organizations like Frontline Foods, which is partnered with World Central Kitchen, to raise funds across the country, including in NYC, Westchester County, Nassau County, and New Jersey. And, if you don’t see your area on the list, you can help bring the mission to your community. Meanwhile, Feeding Heroes is raising funds for Long Island, Queens, New Jersey, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Westchester hospitals. And Nyack Nourishes and Piermont Provides are feeding health care workers in Rockland County.

Make ear savers to donate.

Wearing masks all day can cause irritation behind the ears, and no one is feeling that more than health care workers who are on the front lines every day. If you have older kids, they can try their hand at making some ear savers to donate to your local hospital. All you need for this easy DIY? Sturdy ribbon (1-1½ inches wide), large buttons, needle and thread, scissors, ruler, and a lighter or candle (to keep the cut edges of the ribbon from fraying—this step should probably be handled by Mom or Dad).

Text THANKS to 20222 to donate $10.

The American Nurses Foundation’s Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses—which allows the public to support and thank nurses—will address the current and emerging needs of nurses, including:

  • Providing direct assistance to nurses

  • Supporting the mental health of nurses

  • Ensuring nurses have access to the latest science-based information to protect themselves, prevent infection, and care for those in need

RELATED: Questions to Ask When Choosing a Pediatrician

Create a sign thanking nurses.

If you have poster board, markers, and other crafting supplies at the ready, you can help your child make and decorate a sign thanking nurses that you post in your lawn or hang in a window. 

RELATED: Find a health care provider for your child

Participate in PBS KIDS’ #ThankYouNeighbors campaign.

Throughout the month, PBS KIDS is honoring nurses, doctors, teachers, mail carriers, and other ‘essential workers’ with it’s #ThankYouNeighbors campaign. You can download fill-in-the-blank thank you notes for your kids to fill in and email or mail to essential workers, download a printable coloring sheet with a thank-you note prompt for your child to complete to give to an essential worker or hang in your window for them to see, and your child can create their own essential worker hero. And if your child does any of these, make sure to share it on social with #ThankYouNeighbors to share the thanks with the community!

Practice proper social distancing.

One of the easiest ways to thank a nurse? Stay home. Limiting your potential exposure to the coronavirus means you’re less likely to be admitted to the hospital for treatment. And if you do need to go out? Make sure you wear a mask, don’t touch your face, maintain social distance, and wash your hands.

Call or text a nurse in your life.

If you have a friend or family member who is a nurse, take some time to call or text her to see how she’s doing. Tell him thank you for all that he’s doing. Ask her if there’s anything you can do to support her and her family. And just be a person he can talk to to take his mind off things for even a few minutes.

RELATED: How and Where to Volunteer During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Main Image: Adeline, from Staten Island, made this sign to thank the front line workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Katelin Walling

Author: Katelin Walling is the former editorial director for NYMetroParents. She has been writing about parenting, health, finance, education, fun things to do in NYC and the surrounding area, and more for nearly 10 years. She also has 20+ years of child care experience and was a babysitter in NYC for 8 years. Katelin graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute during the summer of 2011. To unplug in her free time, she can often be found reading, knitting (or general crafting), or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby. See More

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