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Demonstrations of Gratitude

As New Yorkers barricade themselves in their homes to practice “social distancing,” delivery workers have assumed an increased significance in our lives and, like other essential workers, are on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. This week, we would like to invite Friends families to join us in demonstrating our gratitude for these essential workers.

Besides joining advocacy efforts to keep gig workers safe, we asked ourselves what we could do to thank delivery workers personally. What about filling a basket with treats and creating a clever sign that expresses your appreciation for the role delivery workers play in our lives? So many of us rely on them to receive groceries and other items while we are sheltering in place. Let’s let them know how grateful we are. Baskets could be left outside your front door or in the lobby of your buildings. No matter what the treat, the message we all want to convey is our gratitude for how they are helping us all out, especially the elderly and the immunocompromised who really shouldn’t venture out at all during this public health crisis.

Because we know demonstrations of gratitude spread when others see these acts at play, we invite you to join us and post your photos on your social media platforms and tag us @fscpej and #fscommmunitytakingcare. Let’s see if our posts will encourage others in our school community and beyond to show their thanks.

Also, there are ways you can advocate for gig workers’ safety and rights. The NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law provides a minimum of 5 days paid sick leave for NYC employees. The State legislature passed legislation to provide emergency paid sick leave for up to two weeks for employees who test positive for the virus or are told to quarantine. While this was a good step, this effort leaves out hundreds of thousands of workers in NY who are independent contractors, including many misclassified workers like food delivery workers and for-hire drivers. There is a bill proposed by Council Member  Brad Lander that calls to expand paid sick leave to include these gig workers on the frontline of this pandemic. Visit the link to learn more about this issue and how you might add your support to this proposed legislation.

And finally, because not all superheroes wear capes, our final demonstration of gratitude that we hope all will take part in happens every evening at 7 pm. Open your windows. Stand in your doorsteps or on your balconies and join other people cheering and banging pots for health care workers as they are changing shifts. The Clapping is a communal outburst—a reminder that though we are isolated, we are not alone. Join the Friends Seminary community wherever you have sheltered in place and add your raucous sounds of gratitude and solidarity for the work they are doing.

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