While many of us have retreated to our homes amid the imposed community quarantine in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, frontline workers all over the country are putting their lives on the line every day to offer their services despite the threat of the disease.
Whether they’re health care providers, security guards, food delivery personnel, fast food crew, cleaners, cashiers, grocery store employees, or linemen, this nation’s unsung heroes deserve to be celebrated for their selfless and tireless work.
We think we can only do so much, especially with the ongoing community quarantine, but there is more than one way to honor our frontline workers, regardless of what they do.
Here are five ways to give back to the hardworking men and women on the frontline:
Express your gratitude on social media
With more people going and staying online due to the community quarantine, social media channels have become a place to spread positive energy and thank the frontline workers who choose to serve and help the country run amid these challenging times.
Brands, big and small alike, have taken on this role of showing appreciation through their social channels.
At the beginning of the community quarantine, AboitizPower launched the #PositiveEnergy campaign as a salute to its operations and maintenance team members who are making sure that the country is energized during these challenging times. Through timely thank you notes on its social channels, AboitizPower is able to extend its gratitude to these hardworking individuals.
You don’t have to be a multi-million-peso company to show gratitude or spread #PositiveEnergy, though. A simple post, video message, or even a song rendition can mean a lot to our heroes.
What do you have in mind? We’d love to see it!
Send them food
Thank you notes are great, but our frontline workers also need fuel to operate. Who can say no to food, right? Many cause-oriented groups in Metro Manila have set up food donation drives for frontline workers. Among them is CloudEats, which is a platform that seeks to prepare healthy meals for medical staff, government agencies, and other frontline workers.
If you know anyone working as a healthcare provider, you can go out of your way to provide them lunch or have snacks delivered to their workplace. You can also turn the tables on food delivery personnel by buying them meals, which is a feature of some food delivery apps.
After all, food tastes way better when shared.
Help provide PPEs to health care providers
Aside from food, our frontline workers, particularly our health care providers, are in dire need of personal protective equipment. Those with sewing skills and the proper tools and materials helped make improvised masks, doing as much as they could with the few resources they have. Students from various universities also volunteered to build face shields from recycled plastic bottles, showcasing Filipino ingenuity in times of crisis.
But if you don’t have the capacity to procure or produce PPEs such as masks, gloves, and lab gowns, among others, you may opt to donate to campaigns that aim to equip our frontline workers with the necessary gear.
The Aboitiz Foundation started a campaign on its online donation platform Kinder, which aims to help health workers fight COVID-19. The Aboitiz Group’s corporate social responsibility arm partnered with the UP Medical Foundation, TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) Foundation, and a network of infectious disease specialists in the Philippines to purchase and distribute PPE kits containing masks, gloves, impermeable gowns, face shields, goggles, scrub booties, and other safety gear, estimated to cost P950 per kit, to health care professionals on the frontline.
Over the last month, the campaign has raised more than P1.8 million. For as low as P100, you can help protect lives, enable our health workers to stay healthy so they can care for more people, and eventually slow the rate of COVID-19 infections in the country.
There are many organizations mounting donation campaigns for our frontline workers and the Aboitiz Group is just one of them. Regardless of which institution you choose to give to, it will always be for the benefit of our frontline workers.
Start a fundraising campaign within your immediate circles
If you feel like stepping up and taking matters into your own hands, then starting a fundraising campaign for frontline workers is perfect for you. You don’t have to rally the support of a thousand strangers and aim to raise at least P1 million like most big groups have. Why not start with your immediate contacts — your friends and family — instead?
It’s easier to pool resources and ask for help from those who are closest to you. You can tap your village association, call up your high school classmates, or encourage your office friends to pitch in. The Bayanihan spirit can shine through even in the smallest gestures.
Sometimes, it’s the small things that make the biggest difference.
Follow quarantine protocols
“We came to work for you. Please stay home for us.”
You might have seen this quote floating around social media since the health crisis broke out and while some people find this cute, it’s actually a serious plea from our frontline workers.
Staying home may probably sound like the most mundane thing one can do to help our health care workers during this time, but it can have the greatest impact. Staying home limits our contact with others and, thus, helps slow the spread of the virus, which helps medical staff be less overwhelmed.
If we truly want to honor the sacrifice of our frontline workers, we should be serious in following quarantine protocols and guidelines. Washing your hands, disinfecting surfaces, and practicing social distancing can all help prevent the virus from spreading. Let’s all do our part in helping “flatten the curve.”
Saying thank you to our frontline workers doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. Sometimes, these small tokens of appreciation can go a long way. Together, let’s bring #PositiveEnergy to the frontlines.
Can you think of other ways to honor the sacrifice of our unsung heroes? Let us know!