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Make some noise, St. Louis, to honor those essential workers

Make some noise, St. Louis, to honor those essential workers


Essential workers are putting their lives on the line to serve the rest of the community during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a group of St. Louisans thinks they should be appreciated for their selflessness and dedication.

In Milan, people sang patriotic songs together from their balconies. In New York, residents applaud hospital workers as they come to work.

In the St. Louis area, an organization called Rise Up for Heroes wants residents to go outside their homes at 7 p.m. every night beginning Saturday — always keeping a safe distance — and sing or cheer or pray or applaud or even dance as a way to let local essential workers know they are appreciated.

“This is a movement of how we’re calling on the 3 million people in the region to thank the people on the front lines,” said marketing executive Keith Alper, who is one of the area business people behind Rise Up for Heroes.

The heroes in this case are everyone from first responders and hospital employees to grocery store workers, restaurant staffs and delivery people, Alper said.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. every other night from Saturday through April 26, a small caravan of vehicles — they’re calling it a “care-avan” — will wend its way through a different neighborhood, ending up at a nearby hospital to thank the workers there. Among others in the caravan will be Cardinals mascot Fredbird or Blues mascot Louie, along with one of the essential workers who is being honored.

“It’s about engaging the entire St. Louis region, from Metro East to Wentzville,” Alper said.

“We think this is the biggest crisis St. Louis has seen since (the Spanish flu epidemic of) 1918, and we think this will bring the area together,” Alper said.

Money donated to the grassroots organization will go to the St. Louis Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund. Already, the L. Keeley Construction Co. has pledged $100,000 to the effort, Alper said, and Grey Eagle Distributors has donated bottled water to workers.

“What can 1,000 businesses do? What can 3 million people do?” Alper said.

The organization is also encouraging those who can to give blood to help alleviate a severe shortage, to donate food to food banks and to display support for workers by showing blue lights and putting teddy bears in windows.

Neighbors howl at the moon every night to spread cheer in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus and social distancing

Eleanor and Dain Goedeke stand on their porch and howl at the moon with other neighbors on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 in Soulard. Their neighbor, Marybeth Wallace, started encouraging her neighbors to do this every night as a way to spread positivity during social distancing and the spread of the coronavirus. Photo by Rachel Ellis.

Rise Up for Heroes is a grassroots group founded by business people in the community. They were inspired by regional leaders and hospital groups, who are usually competitors, working together during this time of crisis, Alper said. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is one of the companies supporting the initiative.

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