When we hear the word hero, it’s easy to remember the characters we see on movies and in comic books. In the past couple of years, Hollywood has made superheroes (the mythical ones) the be-all and end-all of pop culture and every kid’s hero. While giving kids a figure with exemplary values to look up to is fantastic in its own sense, why not teach kids to look up to real life heroes?
Some of the most inspiring people for kids to applaud can be found not too far from your own home, right in your community and the best way to say thanks is with a little recognition.
Just Say Thank You
Firefighters, police officers and paramedics can sometimes be found while off duty in your community. You run into them at grocery stores, grabbing lunch or even when you are in need of their help. You’d be surprised how many people don’t take the time to say thanks. After a long day on the job, a simple “thanks for what you do” can mean a lot to someone.
Pay it Forward
You’ve probably heard of paying it forward a lot recently. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s the ideology of making a random act of kindness for someone who hasn’t necessarily done something for you but deserves it. There are many ways to pay it forward in your community; here are just a few of them:
- Take care of the bill for an officer or other important community member you recognize.
- Drop off some donuts and coffee or other snacks to a police station with a ‘thank you’ note.
- Get together with a local school and arrange for a “letters from the community” project and mail these to them. It will be an unexpected but pleasant surprise.
Extend the Invitation
Next time you have a community event such as a carnival or open house of some sort, send out an invitation to local police and fire stations. If some of them agree to stop by, treat them to snacks and beverages and be sure to thank them for making the community a safer place.
Look for Heroes Everywhere
Remember: they don’t necessarily have to be in uniforms to be heroes. There are plenty of teachers and community leaders we should remember to recognize. If you know a local hero who deserves some recognition, head to http://www.presentaplaque.com/ and order one of our made in the U.S.A. plaque kits for your own certificate.