Worth highlighting: Here are some ways you can help the helpers

This Friday, March 27, 2020, photo provided by Southwest Airlines employee Dayartra Etheridge shows health care workers, other passengers and flight crew aboard a Southwest flight from Atlanta to New York's LaGuardia Airport holding their hands in the shape of a heart, before the plane pushed back from the gate, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. There were about 30 health care professionals, all from Atlanta-area hospitals, who were on the regularly scheduled flight to LaGuardia, to help with the coronavirus outbreak in New York. (Dayartra Etheridge via AP) (Dayartra Etheridge, Dayartra Etheridge)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, it seems like a lot of folks have been channeling Mr. Rogers, who encouraged us to “look for the helpers” during a crisis.

Many are taking it a step further. Once they spot the helpers, they are finding ways to help them, too.

We take a minute again this week to acknowledge those who are pitching in any way they can to support those on the front lines.

And a few of them have ways that you can take part.

Saying thank you

Hodges Mazda on Jacksonville’s Southside is offering health care workers a free oil change and car wash as a thank you for their service. The offer is good through April 15. Read more

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is offering free bus rides to health care professionals, beginning Monday, April 6. Any worker at a hospital, doctor’s office, medical facility or medical laboratory just needs to show their work badge to ride for free. Read more

Restaurants like Tidbits, D&G Deli and Grill, and European Street Cafe are delivering meals to those working tirelessly during the pandemic as part of the Feed Our Healthcare Heroes initiative. Read more

Hightide Burrito has partnered with Baptist Health and Ascension St. Vincent’s to allow patrons to buy burritos for health care workers and hospital staff. The meals include chips, salsa and a thank you tucked in. Read more

You can help satisfy our health care workers’ Girl Scout Cookie cravings -- and give them a much-deserved sweet treat -- thanks to the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council’s Cookies for Health Heroes initiative. They have committee 20,000 boxes, but you can help them go above and beyond that goal. Read more

Making masks

Many manufacturers around the county are shifting operations to help with the crisis, and Venus Fashion, based in Jacksonville, is pitching in by making protective face masks that will be donated to area hospitals. Read more

Local clothing brand Katherine Way is also turning its warehouse of fabric into kits for volunteers to sew masks to be donated to hospitals. Starting this week, they’re also making isolation gowns for Baptist Health. Read more

Donating gloves

Mobility Plus, a Jacksonville business that helps senior citizens get around, has donated 4,000 gloves to assisted living facilities who are in desperate need because of how often the workers have to change gloves. Read more

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.