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Looking for the Helpers

15-20 Minutes

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  • Explore who the essential workers are in your community

  • Discover why the work these essential workers do is important

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We’re thinking about the question: “How can we show gratitude to essential workers and helpers in our community?”

Your challenge this week is to create an “Expression of Gratitude” to honor an essential worker and their contribution to the community.

Let's Get Started!


Many people are working from home right now while others continue to go to work out in the community. Why?


Watch this video to learn more about some of the essential workers in our communities.

  • Who are the different essential workers you see in the video?

  • Why are they considered to be “on the frontlines”?

  • How are their jobs important in helping our communities get what they need?



the locations and positions where people come most closely into contact with danger during emergency situations

Now let’s dig a little deeper to learn more about some of the essential workers in our communities and why they must continue to go to work on the frontlines.

Food Supply Workers



Farm workers continue to work to tend to animals and harvest their crops during emergencies. They provide us with fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products. This food is brought to farmers markets or transported from the farms to be packaged and delivered to grocery stores.

Grocery stores are very important in a community to make sure that people have food to eat. Many people work together at the grocery store, including cashiers, baggers, people that unpack deliveries and put food on the shelves, those that manage the carts, and more! People also work to pack orders and deliver directly to customers.

Can you think of other essential workers that help to make sure that we have food to eat?


Delivery Workers


Postal workers deliver mail to homes and businesses. At the Post Office, postal workers help people mail packages and letters, buy stamps, and complete other services. Postal workers also sort all the mail and put it on the trucks to be delivered.

Delivery truck drivers bring goods to homes and businesses around the country. Delivered goods include food to grocery stores and restaurants, gasoline to gas stations, medical supplies to hospitals and doctors’ offices, and so much more. 

Can you think of other essential workers that help to deliver the goods we need?



the material items we purchase to meet our needs and wants

Healthcare Workers



Doctors, nurses, and EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) are working around the clock to help people that are sick. During emergencies, they not only see their regular patients but help to treat new patients, like those who are sick with new viruses like COVID-19. In some places, healthcare workers do not have proper protective gear and they are putting themselves at risk on the frontlines to care for these patients. 

Pharmacists play an important role in providing medicine to people that need it. They distribute prescription medicine as well as help patients understand how to take their medication safely. 

Can you think of other essential workers that help to keep us healthy?


Who else is an essential worker? Think about the ways those people help you, too.

First Responders:

Firefighters, police officers, and others are often the first people to arrive when there is an emergency. 

Transportation Workers:

Bus drivers, train operators, and other transportation workers help to get people where they need to go, like to work or the grocery store.

Sanitation Workers:

Sanitation workers, such as garbage collectors and custodians, help to keep our communities clean.

Other City Service Workers:

Cities and towns employ many essential workers who help to make sure we have clean water, electricity, and other important things.


Your challenge this week is to create an “Expression of Gratitude” to honor an essential worker and their contribution to the community.

Today, you will identify 3 essential workers that you appreciate for helping you and the community.



a showing of thankfulness and appreciation


Think about:

  • Who are 3 essential workers that are helping you and your community right now?


You're going to:

  • Create a list of 3 essential workers and describe their role in helping your community. You can make your list on a piece of paper, or use the “Essential Workers In My Community” handout if you like.


Make your list! For each person, describe:

  • Their role (What does this essential worker do?)

  • Their workplace (Where does this worker go for their job?)

  • Their tools (What does this essential worker need for their job?)


Watch the “Gratitude Is Essential for Essential Workers” video to learn more about how some people overlook the importance of the jobs that people are risking their health to continue to do. 

Showing gratitude to essential workers means so much to them!

Ready for Day 2?

On day 2, you will start to plan your “Expression of Gratitude.”

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