Why Giving Back to the Families of First Responders Is So Important

Leading with generosity and providing first responders’ families with child care during the coronavirus pandemic is key.

Even in ordinary times, individuals’ generosity has a major impact on the health and quality of life for people in need — and, in turn, it can also provide a host of benefits for the person giving back. Now in the new normal, with first responders stretched beyond their limits, the value of giving back cannot be underestimated. Every act of generosity counts when it comes to taking care of the needs of hospital workers on the front lines, who are tackling the epic challenge presented by COVID-19.

One family in Connecticut is making a formidable difference. Barbara and Ray Dalio and Dalio Philanthropies are prioritizing giving back in their home state, announcing that they will be funding crucial medical care and food to help first responders and their families. They’ve donated $4 million, most of it directed towards financing child care for hospital workers across the state.

“Ray and I are deeply concerned about these frontline hospital workers, and the additional burdens they’re bearing as a result of this pandemic,” Barbara Dalio says. “We are starting with frontline hospital workers who don’t have child care. To us, they are heroes.” They hope to help parents providing medical care themselves have greater peace of mind, letting them rest assured that their children will be safe while they are focusing on their critical jobs. Given that finding child care can be an enormous source of stress, especially during the pandemic, this gift can help ease that one anxiety. 

The funds will provide eight weeks of child care for over a thousand children at facilities close to the hospitals where their parent is working. 

Here at Thrive, we are also committed to helping first responders get the high-quality, safe, and nurturing care for their children that they need during this challenging time. #FirstRespondersFirst has brought together the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, CAA, and Bright Horizons, opening special child-care hubs to meet the needs of our first responders. 

Bright Horizons will operate with special COVID-19 protocols in place, including limited capacity and small group sizes, enhanced teacher-to-child ratios, and intensive hygiene and cleaning practices. The centers will be staffed with expertly trained and experienced local Bright Horizons early educators.

The initiative is of paramount importance because supporting and sustaining our frontline care providers and their families — while ensuring the well-being of our first responders — benefits us all.

And if you’re a first responder yourself, it’s our job to help support and give back to you. But practicing these key Microsteps can also help you pay it forward to your colleagues and strengthen your connections with children and loved ones — helping to inspire you all as you continue your life-saving work. 

Once each day, compliment or thank a co-worker for their contribution. When you’re on the front lines facing unbelievable pressures every day, it’s easy to forget to call out positive acts. Taking a few seconds to do so will help to inspire and motivate both you and your colleagues.

Stay in contact with family and friends. However busy you may be at work and even if you are spending long hours at work, find time to check in with someone who matters to you. Even a quick text can give you a sense of connection and support. Ask them how they are doing and don’t hesitate to tell them how you are doing and feeling. 

Click here for information about how Thrive Global is supporting our healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, and find out how you can support the cause by donating to #FirstRespondersFirst.

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