5 Thanksgiving Family Activities to Express Gratitude for First Responders


There is so much to be thankful for. Many families are looking for ways to show their support to their communities in ways that are not Black Friday Shopping. Finding the right way to support for firefighters, EMS and other first respondents who work in the industry can make quite an impression. From family and friends to finding ways to spread holiday cheer at the local firehouse, a thoughtful gift is a great way to show how much you care.

A Good Night’s Sleep

If you have a first responder in your family then you know that the strain and emotional toll that an average shift may have is often considerable. For those who have a first responder within the household, ensuring their loved one gets a good night’s sleep can be gift enough. Taking steps to minimize the disruption that family events and holiday celebrations may have on their sleep schedule can also give first responders a reason to be thankful. If your loved one works a graveyard shift then noise control sleep Bluetooth headphones can be a way for them to keep noise out as they sleep and block the daylight sunlight coming from the window. Changing the curtains to blackout curtains and any other comforts will be greatly appreciated to make sure that they are able to rest peacefully. 

Help Them Help Others

It is not uncommon for firehouses or EMS systems to become involved in their community through charity work. They usually make these fundraisers to help others in the community that are in need.  Learning how to contribute time and materials to a charity or making a cash donation can be greatly appreciated. The holidays can provide the perfect opportunity for you to make a difference.

If you are a great couponer or deal hunter you can make sure that the local police station or hospital has their breakroom stocked for these hard workers. Maybe you can get extra coffee maker, snacks, board games, or whatever their specific needs are. You can bring a little bit of happiness to the breakroom that their budget wouldn’t let them. A gesture can make their day to day life a little easier. If you know how to turn a dollar into ten retail dollars with your couponing skills, then use it to help the breakrooms of those who put their safety on the line in emergencies.

Bringing Smiles

A playful gift can be just as heartfelt as a more substantial or serious item. A model firetruck, If your local firehouse has a fire dog then you could send a basket with a fire hose dog collar , dog treats and toys. Your kids can draw pictures of ambulances with thank you letters. That is sure to be a hit with medics and firefighters alike. If you can find a directory of staff online you could have kids draw specific officers or paramedics in a department. Having a kid drawn doppelganger of themselves is sure to bring smiles to them.

Making a Financial Donation

Volunteer fire departments and even EMS services are always happy to receive a financial donation. For those who are concerned about their budget or bottom line, finding a way to volunteer or to help out around the station house can be an ideal alternative. Giving back to your first responders can often be well worth the effort and expense. However, make a bake sale including the kids. Show them what it’s like to work, sell, and then to give it away to a good cause. This can become a lesson on the sacrifices and great work that first responders do to highlight a focus on the community versus the self.

Holiday Service

A box of LED flashlights, rain gear or even sunglasses is sure to be well received at the local firehouse. Inexpensive gear, especially items that tend to wear out quickly is always a great gift idea. A home cooked meal or making arrangements with a catering or delivery service is another option worth considering. Making sure that they are fed during the holidays could be a great way for a church group to come together to show appreciation. Helping those who help the community during the holiday is a way to bring a service activity to your family’s schedule.

Other Holidays

Thanksgiving may not be the only opportunity to express your gratitude. From other major holidays to National EMS Week, there are plenty of events where a gift or family activity can make a real difference. Finding creative ways to show first responders just how important they are could be easier than you might think. What’s something your family can do for your community?

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