When you think of essential workers, you think of the emergency and medical workers first; however other workers were vital during the COVID pandemic. Truck drivers delivered the inventory to the stores and other places. Restaurant workers served up meals for delivery and pick up. Retail workers sold items we all needed to survive and stay safe. Hotel workers gave a place to stay if someone needed to be away from home.
These workers were overlooked because people expect them to be there at their convenience. How would you have survived the pandemic if all the restaurants closed? Where would stores get their supplies if truck drivers stayed at home? Where would travelers sleep if the hotels closed? Where would people get treated for illness if the doctors and nurses stayed home? Fires would burn out of control. Riots and chaos would ensue. Trash would pile up everywhere. It would be anarchy and chaos.
Holding Out for a Hero
Doctors and nurses spent hours on their feet to give the people of the world care from COVID as well as any other illnesses that struck. They worked tirelessly helping others. Imagine being on your feet for 12 to 18 hours a day or more. Compression socks for nurses or doctors would be a great gift. These socks help circulation and ease the aching from long-standing. Workers who stand on their feet all day could use a foot massage or a trip to a spa.
Emergency responders of all types worked hard to make sure the people and places were safe. We depend on emergency responders to put the fires out, rescue Mr. Whiskers from the top of a tree, provide emergency medical help on-site, or arrest a criminal. These essential workers could use a gift like dry shampoo and body wash wipes for a quick clean-up after some dirty work. Home health and assisted living workers stayed on task caring for their patients and residents at risk to themselves. They deserve appreciation as well.
These underappreciated workers need gifts like containers for their favorite beverage, ingredients for home-cooked meals, or food delivery. Buy your neighborhood emergency responders some donuts and coffee. Send some pizzas or sub sandwiches to the nearest firehouse or police station. Send the hospitals some healthy fruit baskets and beverage varieties.
Other gift ideas for these amazing people are tactical pens, scented candles, or bubble bath sets. Some men would love a shaving kit, power tools, or a BBQ set.
There is No Place Like Home
While many quarantined safely in their homes, others faced the public every day making the meals, selling the goods, providing customer services, and giving other workers a safe and clean place to sleep. They did not have the option of staying home during the pandemic. These workers are deserving of appreciation. If you have an essential worker in your life, you could get them a gift certificate, take them to a microbrewery, or a night on the town.
If your essential friend is a wine lover, try a gift card for Bev wine. If you know someone that likes flowers, order them a bouquet from someone like Venus Et Fleur. A fruit or candy bouquet would be lovely as well. Anything can make the home they barely exist in more inviting. Do you know a hard worker that loves plants but never has the time to take care of them properly? Try giving these brown thumbs succulents or cactus-style plants.
Dealing with the public every day can be stressful. Angry guests and customers were abundant during the pandemic. If you have a friend or family member in the service industry, they need to relax. Your friends are stressed from trying to keep other people happy while taking the blame for things out of their control. Bubble bath, spa days, and liquor are all on order for these fine folks.
The Roads Most Traveled
Truck drivers ride the road for long hours day and night. They travel the highways and byways across the country to deliver the product to where it needs to go. A great gift for these guys and gals would be a lumbar cushion or car seat massager to ease the back pain from long hours of sitting.
Another gift idea for these unsung heroes is a good lunch bag and gift cards for healthy eating and a Dan Murphy gift card for them to enjoy a bottle of drink during their time off. Flashlights, emergency road kits, and phone holders are other excellent gift ideas. These road hogs can be intimidating to the wary driver; however, without them, gas does not get to the station, products do not get to the shelves, and your online shopping packages will not get delivered.
The weary driver will appreciate travel kits for a quick shower at the truck stop. Drivers will enjoy anything that makes the truck feel more like the home they barely see.
Oh, Captain, My Captain Teach Me Thy Ways.
We do not pay, praise, or support our community educators enough. These fine human beings are teaching the next generation for very little pay in return. They must furnish much of their supplies for the classroom. If you are shopping for a gift for a teacher or other school employee, look at office supplies and a tote bag to put them in.
Teachers and professors always need pens, pencils, and paper for their classrooms. Coffee mugs for their morning cup of ambition would be a nice touch as well. If your favorite educator is not a coffee drinker, try some tea varieties to help them face the day of teaching the future minds of the world. Teachers and other educators love books and time away from the hustle. Send these guys on a reading cruise if such a thing exists otherwise a regular cruise with a bag of books works.
It Is a Whole New World
The last year has been interesting, to say the least. How did you get through long, lonely days at home? Many watched movies, read books, watched TikTok and YouTube videos. The writers and creators of the world kept you entertained while you quarantined at home, looking at the same walls for days.
Creative types enjoy oddball items as well as everyday items. Buy them mugs for their favorite brew or artwork to spark more creativity. Bath bombs and massagers are great gifts for that creative person in your life. If you’re looking for a way to support your writer/blogger/video diva friend, review their work, spread their name and links to all of your social media friends.
Set Them Free
Treat your hard-working friend and you don’t even need to spend anything. Some free ideas to help out the hard-working essential employee are as follows:
- Offer to babysit to those that have children
- Offer to wash their car
- Offer to do some laundry
- Offer to cook them a meal
- Offer to run some errands they do not have time for
- Offer to help clean their house
- Paint a picture
- Bake a cake or cookies
If your friends are single parents, these little things can mean a great deal to them. Gifts are not about the money you spend but the thought and appreciation you show. Use your friend’s hobbies and interests as inspiration.