Updated: January 14, 2021 09:35 PM
Created: January 14, 2021 07:51 PM
The events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 left people feeling angry, scared and discouraged. But what about grateful?
Sharon McMahon is finding a way to spread gratitude after the chaos.
A moment that stuck with her was when a reporter said the Capitol was being cleaned so lawmakers could return to certify the results of the election.
"It was just like this dividing line where it was like, somebody has to clean it up before our democracy can resume," McMahon said. "Democracy was hinging on this building being restored."
The former government teacher and woman behind the popular Instagram account @sharonsaysso said the crews that keep the Capitol in good shape often do a thankless job and don't expect to be appreciated for it. But she's making sure they are now.
She wanted to send them money. She's had a lot of success fundraising via Venmo and PayPal. But government employees can't accept gifts over $20.
"What is the least we can do? What's the least we can do that will show people our appreciation for their sacrifice, for their hard work, for their bravery, but not cross that line?" McMahon asked.
It's simple: thank you notes.
Her Instagram following has grown to nearly 270,000. And she is encouraging all of them to join her in flooding the mail with thank you notes to the #capitolcleanupcrew, a hashtag she started.
"Wouldn't it be amazing to show up at your job and have 5,000 thank you cards telling you what a great job you're doing?" she laughed.
She's seen families get involved and teachers have their students participate. She hopes it's a "Miracle on 34th Street" moment when the mail comes.
There are two places to send thank you notes: directly to the Capitol or to the union that represents the crews.
Architect of the Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Ford House Office Bldg
2nd St. SW
Washington, DC 20024
The union says they will collect and distribute small gift cards if people want to send them, but they can't be more than $20.
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