Every day, there are members of our community who normally work behind the scenes to ensure that our neighborhoods and cities are safe and running smoothly. Often, these everyday role models go unrecognized for their hard work and dedication.
And although we might not necessarily acknowledge their efforts as much as we should, our children certainly do. Many children admire community role models like nurses, teachers, police men and women, and firefighters so much, in fact, that they often pretend to be them, would like to grow up to be them or get very emotional in their presence, as one Cincinnati toddler did when he met his neighborhood heroes.
So, instead of only recognizing these role models in official ceremonies or during parades, it might be a good idea to take a hint from our children and acknowledge them more frequently with a small thank you. After all, who doesn’t want to feel appreciated for the work that they do?
If you aren’t entirely sure how to acknowledge these wonderful members of our communities, follow these three easy steps:
Pick a Community Role Model
Before you recognize someone in your community, you have to pick one. To do so, ask your child who in the community he or she would like to meet. It could be a firefighter, mail person, police officer, garbage man, etc., or someone else who your child might pick that you hadn’t even considered. However, if you know that your child really looks up to a certain individual, you can choose that person without your child’s knowledge so that meeting with that community leader can be an exciting surprise.
Make a Gift
As a way to say thanks for the work this person does in the community and also for taking the time out of the day to meet with you and your child, bring a small gift. This gift doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. In fact, he or she might appreciate a homemade thank you card or baked good even more. Ask your child what he or she thinks you should bring, and then make that item together.
Whomever that person is, contact their place of employment and see if you can schedule a meet and greet with your child. By doing so, your child can not only meet his or her hero, but you can deliver the gift to them as well. If you’re lucky, you and your child may even get a tour of the local fire station or post office.