The following content is created in partnership with Medical City Healthcare. It does not reflect the work or opinions of the NBC Dallas/Fort Worth editorial staff. Click here to learn more about Medical City Healthcare.

As the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, many remain at home, social distancing: They’re staying indoors but for the occasional trip to pick up essentials, such as groceries, or they’re taking a walk for some fresh air. Some, though—including dedicated doctors, nurses, and other frontline caregivers—continue serving their communities.

Here are four simple ways to express gratitude to the caregivers, community leaders, first responders, and frontline workers in North Texas.

Donate blood or plasma
There’s been a significant decrease in blood donations—consequently, a steep dip in the national blood supply.

The good news: To get more people giving blood, the Food and Drug Administration has loosened some restrictions—rules that have, until now, limited the number of eligible blood donors. Plus, blood donation centers are accepting appointments and have implemented extra precautionary measures to ensure safety for donors.

Contact your local blood center to see how you can help. (Options in the area include Carter BloodCare and The American Red Cross North Texas Region.)

Donate to your local food bank
Generous people have been donating food to hospitals and other healthcare organizations in appreciation for caregivers’ hard work. If you’d like to donate to a hospital, it’s best to reach out first to make sure they’re accepting food donations.

Meanwhile, there’s a community-based food need. We know that good nutrition is essential for good health but hunger is on the rise in North Texas: Local food banks are seeing an increase in first-time visitors due to the economic effects of COVID-19.

If you’d like to donate food—or money to buy food—the North Texas Food Bank and the Tarrant Area Food Bank are helping those struggling with hunger during this difficult period.

Stay at home and keep social distancing
The most important way to help caregivers and your community is to slow the spread of the virus. 

Stay home whenever possible, wash your hands often, and practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others. Follow the guidelines set forth by local, state, and federal public health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as we work to slow the spread of the virus.

Thank caregivers in simple but meaningful ways
All over the world, people have expressed gratitude and appreciation to caregivers in many different ways.

Outside local hospitals, law enforcement and community groups are recognizing caregivers by flashing their lights and “parading” through parking lots. Chalk art has popped up on fences and sidewalks across North Texas. People are applauding nurses, doctors, and other caregivers ending shifts.

Adults and children alike, meanwhile, are sending thank you messages (both paper and pixel) to medical centers. (You can take a photo of your artwork or note of encouragement for healthcare heroes and email it to us.) Some people prefer to express their feelings via homemade signs, displaying them to thank those who’ve saved the lives of loved ones. Even the smallest gestures can go a long way. Taking time to thank a caregiver—just calling or texting a friend who works in a hospital—can mean the world to them.

Medical City Healthcare colleagues are committed to caring for communities across North Texas. To learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and others, visit our Coronavirus Resource Hub.

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