What are you doing tonight at 7 p.m.? Why not grab some pots and pans and head out to your front porch and spread some cheer?
At a time when many of us feel alone, the 7 p.m. hour has become an opportunity to come together and feel part of something bigger than ourselves. The tradition has been going strong in New York since March, and is now spreading to other parts of the country.
What’s Happening in New York?
Every evening at 7 p.m., New Yorkers from all over the city step out onto their front steps, balconies or porches and cheer for healthcare workers and first responders. Some clap, while others employ noisemakers and even pots and pans. New York residents have reported hearing ambulance sirens throughout the city almost constantly over the past month, so this 7 p.m. thank you hour is a welcome distraction. It’s also been a way for the city to come together.
Now other U.S. cities are joining in, too. Chicago and Los Angeles have both adopted the cheer for healthcare workers, as well as displaying thank you signs and lighting up buildings at night.
How to Thank Essential Workers (from Home)
Our healthcare and essential workers have spent weeks risking their own safety in order to protect us from COVID-19, and they could use our help. From food bank donations to giving blood to cheering at 7 p.m., there is a way for each of us to help right now.
If your city or neighborhood has not embraced the 7 p.m. cheer, send an email to your neighbors or put up a social media post inviting those around you to join in. You can also post on Instagram using the “thank you” sticker to show your support.
To give back to healthcare workers on the frontline, consider sending them a meal or gift. Most hospitals have a special hotline or website with donation information. Find out if your local hospital can accept food gifts!
If you have the crafty gene, pull out your sewing machine to make homemade masks for the essential workers in your area. For more ideas, check out all of the ways to help your community.