Like most of America, today was not my usual weekday morning routine. I didn't have to get dressed in the predawn darkness and rush to make the 6:09 (that is a.m.) train. No morning commute that required my navigating to in my usual spot at my Metro North station and lining up for my morning joe at Joe Coffee in Grand Central. And, oh, how I miss it all!
For all the inconvenience of rewiring our work lives, it's an absolute walk in the park compared to the shift that has occurred in the lives of the men and women on the frontline of our communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first responders, medical support personnel, physicians, and clinicians face a daily battle of this health crisis with selfless abandon. I can't say enough how much we all respect and appreciate these brave people and the sacrifice they are making for all of us.
#THANKYOU is a message on billboards around the country that calls out some of these specific sectors to simply say:thank you. We are hopeful that reaching these heroes with that simple message as they move around their communities helps inspire them to know that they are supremely appreciated. This goes for the first responders and medical community, as well as to others who are keeping us schooled (teachers), fed (grocers and delivery services), and many other things. We are also aware of both the impact on local businesses still striving to serve us and the fast toggle of some large businesses to react to and produce items that are in short supply. To all of them, we also owe a debt of gratitude, and are including them in some of this messaging.
Beyond that, we want to share some messages of goodwill and hope to all communities across the country. People are coming together in kindness and with support for one another. Adversity builds better neighbors as we learn to emotionally lean on one another even as we move physically apart.
So, starting this week, on digital billboards across the country, we are sharing these messages of thanks, support, and help. These digital platforms are located on the highways and byways of America, in big cities and in local communities. On routes near hospitals, supermarkets, and other places to help perhaps provide a bright moment.
Here's a look at a sampling of some of the #THANKYOU signage that's running. Hopefully, those first responders and others making the commute to and from work can see one or more of these.
Saying #THANKYOU was clearly our priority. But, as we started to think about how our messaging might just do a little bit to lift the spirits of those on the frontline fighting this pandemic, we couldn't help but hope we might be able to lift the spirits of entire communities, too.
Finally, we felt like there should be a way for local markets to specifically recognize the companies and businesses in their communities that are going above and beyond with service and compassion during these trying times.
In times of crisis, sometimes it is the small efforts that collectively make a difference. We wanted to use the tools we have, our digital platforms that are seen by millions every hour, as a canvas for expressing our gratitude and support for the people and businesses who are doing so much to help us get through this crisis. It is inspiring to see our country pulling together in the face of this unforeseen challenge.
Stay safe everyone. And #THANKYOU for everything you're doing to help your communities.
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