Each day, countless people serve our communities, but are often overlooked because their work is seen as just that: Work. The fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19) has helped us all better understand the significant role a variety of employees play in our day to day lives. Along with first responders, medical staff and government leaders who are navigating these unfamiliar times, here are some folks Mission Georgia would like you to take note of and be in prayer over:
Grocery store staff
It’s been a while since we thanked grocery staff, but we certainly should know that they are, in fact, COVID-19 heroes. Whether it’s the person stocking shelves or the cashier calmly serving fearful and frustrated shoppers, our grocery stores are filled with good folks doing hard work.
Truck and delivery drivers
While you may only think of avoiding them in traffic, large and small delivery trucks are bringing the items needed in this time of COVID-19 quarantine. They’re keeping hospitals and grocery stores filled with items needed, working on a tighter schedule.
Cleaning and custodial Staff
Cleanliness is something we all enjoy. Now more than ever, staff who are providing clean surfaces are life savers, especially at grocery stores, gas stations, government buildings, food service kitchens, and hospitals.
The ones who corral wiggly and uninterested students in classrooms every day of the week are now doing the same through computer screens. Technology is their friend and foe. They are trying to bring some normalcy to younger kids, keep older students on track to graduate, and taking care of their own kids or grandkids who are also online in school.
Because they help give care to the overall well-being of students, they are often first to be aware of difficult needs students have while confined in homes without electricity, food, or even supervision. They are also problem solving a lack of technology for home bound and homeless students.
Many are still in kitchens right now, preparing meals to go out to children, the elderly, the imprisoned, the homeless, and other vulnerable populations.
Convenience store workers
Placed within walking distance of many neighborhoods, these workers provide necessities like gas for our cars and comfort food (aka candy bars and flavored ices) for our mental health. They keep shelves stocked with necessities like milk and bread for those who cannot travel to larger stores due to closed public transportation. They are the first stores to open and last to close each day.
They’ve traded in early morning deliveries of kids to school, for lunch deliveries to homes and bus stops. Driving their familiar route, they are bringing meals to kids who have little to no food in their homes.
Foster care case workers
Like many who are overworked and under paid, a normal day keeps case workers overwhelmed as they try to provide supervision and resources for kids in foster care. The mass quarantine has amassed greater needs to their phone and email, which are not easily resolved. They are a life line for foster parents trying to figure out how to care for traumatized kids in a larger crisis.
Assisted living and nursing home staff
Though many facilities are closed to visitors, nurses, medical technologists and Nursing Assistants continue to dress, feed, and care for some of our most needy citizens around the clock.
While media often earns a bad rap, news reporters are moving around our communities to relay important information and share the stories we all want to stay connected. They are telling difficult stories of sickness and even death, while trying to lift our spirits through uplifting accounts of neighbors helping neighbors.
Many businesses and buildings are closed but still need security staff. Other places like grocery stores, jails and prisons, essential government offices and banks are dealing with larger volumes of people. They provide a sense of order and calm in an unnerving time.
Nonprofit staff and volunteers
Sacrificial volunteers give their time and talents to unique needs in our communities. They do it every week. Now, their well-crafted and specific service to our neighbors are helping countless families through this crisis with hope. They are helping refugees, foster kids, women who are pregnant, kids learning to read and teenagers who have been rescued from sex trafficking. They are visiting prisoners and caring for hospice patients, all while navigating new challenges in their own lives.
There are many others that bring helpful services to us in this weird COVID-19 world we are all in right now. Who would you like to add to the list? Give a shout out to people you see and know who are continuing to serve our communities through their work. Share ideas of how we can help or encourage them.