3 Cheers for Local Heros!

Want to show first responders and emergency volunteers your gratitude? Create hand-made thank you cards for firefighters, healthcare workers, Red Cross emergency personnel, and more in your community or somewhere a disaster or emergency has occurred.

Note About Volunteering at Home:

The impact of COVID-19 continues to change our daily lives and routines, but the volunteers that nonprofits rely on are more important than ever. The following project can be modified to do at home and delivered via mail or drop off to adhere to the social distancing guidelines set by local and national authorities.

We encourage you to connect with the nonprofits and NGOs in your area for the most impactful ways to donate and any specific safety guidelines they may have. To get started, you can check out your local Points of Light Global Network affiliate or Points of Light Service Enterprise, or search the web for local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Be sure to ask:

  • “Would your facility be open to receiving this project I’m working on at home once it’s complete?”
  • “Are there others way I can help?”

Why Is It Important?

Protecting, supporting and responding to community needs and disasters can be a very difficult and dangerous job. On a daily basis, and especially if any of us or our neighbors is ever in need, we will depend on our firefighters, health care workers, community volunteers and other first responders. Reaching out to them and recognizing them can make all the difference in their feeling appreciated and valued.

What You Need:

  • Card stock or construction paper
  • Markers, paint and paintbrushes, or colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Cloth, tissue paper, glitter and other craft materials


  1. Research local first responder sites to find contact information and addresses for fire stations, police stations, and/or emergency response organizations.
  2. Speak to or email a someone at each station to confirm the address to mail your cards or to arrange a visit to deliver them in person.
  3. Set a date, recruit and gather your friends, family, and any other volunteers to participate. Perhaps you can video call each other while you’re working on the cards!
  4.  Instruct your volunteers on what the purpose of the project is:
    1. Brainstorm things you may write.
    2. Confirm where you’ll each deliver your notes.
  5. Create cards and letters with pictures and notes expressing your gratitude for their work.
  6. Mail notes individually (make sure they are properly addressed and stamped), or send them all in a box depending on your groups’ choices.
  7. Announce the number of letters sent and thank your volunteers on social media!

Reflection Questions:

  • How do you think the person who receives your note will feel?
  • How else can you recognize and celebrate the work of the first responders?
  • Who else does important community work and could benefit from recognition?
  • How could you change this project next time to reach more people or improve it?
  • Do you think this project made a difference?
Download The DIY Project PDF