Did you know shift workers make up 20% of the workforce in the United States? Shift workers are quite literally the backbone to our country’s economic development. So why has it taken so long for us to see their true value? Before COVID19, many took our food and beverage service workers, meat manufacturers, and grocers for granted. It was just all part of the underlying process we didn’t have to worry about. However, that has changed. The men and women who make up the shift worker community have taken the hardest hit. Millions have had to file for unemployment. Grocery workers are now seen as ‘essential’ workers. Healthcare staff are now even more heroic than they already were. Perspective has changed and it is time to do better for those who are daily doing for us.
While many changes will need to be handed down from corporate and economic structures, there is a lot you can do now to help your local small businesses and shift workers. Purchase gift cards to your favorite local restaurants to use at a later date and take part in #TakeOutTuesday in your community. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper and say thank you to the essential workers in your area, donate to your local food banks, and consider volunteering with an organization you feel drawn to.
Look to this pause as a time to put efforts into other areas of your community that may have fallen through the cracks. It isn’t about doing a lot, it’s about doing what you can. Say ‘Thank you’ more often, don’t take anything for granted, and, by golly, tip your delivery drivers more than ever!
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