We stopped clapping for them and sending pizza to nursing stations months ago, but the essential workers in health care are still toiling away, risking their health and that of their families on the front lines of COVID-19 every day. From doctors to orderlies, nurses to first responders, lab technicians to the housekeeping staff in every hospital and clinic, their work is the single most crucial thing happening in this country today.

In the early summer, everyone (those who understand the risks) was singing their praises, calling them heroes. Every fast food place and local diner ran a ‘first responders get free ___’ ad somewhere.

But now it’s winter, and we’re all so very tired of the pandemic, and of the people reminding us of our personal responsibilities in keeping it under control. Especially as it slips out of that control again, with numbers rising after the Thanksgiving holiday.

So it is nice to see that at least one company is still offering thanks. In coffee form.

Beginning Tuesday, December 1st and running until New Year’s Eve, Starbucks is giving a free cup of coffee to anyone who identifies themselves as a frontline worker, every day. They include doctors, firefighters, mental health workers, pharmacists, active-duty military, literally anyone who works in a hospital or research center, and more.

“It has been an extraordinarily difficult year, especially for the front-line responders who are serving our communities,” said Virginia Tenpenny, vice president of global social impact at Starbucks. “We want to show our deep gratitude for those who support and protect us every day with a small gesture of kindness and a cup of coffee.”

In considerably more than a ‘small gesture,’ Starbucks is also donating $100,000 to the National Alliance of Mental Health to support the necessary growth of remote mental health resources, and will donate 50,000 care packages to front-line responders in December.

Source: Press release

Editorial credit: Boyloso / Shutterstock.com