Gadsden County residents imposed with stay at home orders and social distancing guidelines have redefined the term “essential worker” amidst the current pandemic.
In light of the economic effects of COVID-19, health, safety and food employees are currently at the epicenter of the US economy. Recognizing this fact, Chattahoochee natives Mary Garcier and Terri Liggett have taken it upon themselves to highlight these essential workers in their own community by posting signs emblazoned with the text: “Hometown heroes work Here” in more than 40 businesses in Chattahoochee and surrounding areas.
“We did it for our hometown people,” Liggett said. “We’re not really looking for recognition; we wanted them to know how much we appreciate them.”
The idea to post signs came to fruition after Garcier’s daughter, a Dollar General employee, was forced to cover the shifts of absent workers as a result of coronavirus-related cutbacks.
“Due to that, Mary thought, ‘Is there some way we could place signs in stores in support of the people that are still on the front lines?’ She [Garcier] contacted me and asked if we could make posters and put them around,” Liggett recalled.
The work of Liggett and Garcier can be seen not only in Gadsden County businesses, but also across the Apalachicola River in the neighboring town of Sneads. In response to the devoted duo’s support and selfless efforts, essential workers and other community members alike have voiced their overwhelmingly positive sentiments on the positive placard plan.
One such essential worker, local Family Dollar employee Joshua Dillion White, expressed appreciation for the signage, as he – like countless other Americans – must continue to work while attempting to maintain the safety and welfare of not just himself, but his family at home, as well.
“I have a 5-month-old now. If I would have gotten the disease, he would have been in trouble,” White notes. “I’m just a normal human being. Anybody that stayed and helped is amazing and anyone that copped out, I can understand.”
Customers and other “civilians” who benefit from White’s service have also acknowledged their gratitude toward area residents like him who have continued to toil away at essential jobs, in spite of the ongoing pandemic.
“Josh (White) is a hometown hero and essential. If they (essential businesses) shut down, then nobody would have anything around here,” said local Red Cross volunteer Carlton James.
Photos courtesy CMS/FB Public Images