If you want to feel better about yourself, help someone else. That’s more than just age-old wisdom. The idea is supported by modern research that explored how lending a hand to others can relieve anxiety and depression.
Well, there’s a lot of that going around these days.
Companies, just like people, are searching for ways to help others. That can be those who are struggling to make ends meet. Healthcare workers confronting the pandemic. Or just the general public – which is understandably feeling stressed. They’re looking for ways to be that “good voice” in these dark times in ways that are relevant, helpful, focused on health, and just plain optimistic about how better days are ahead for all of us.
It’s one thing to “talk the talk” about how we’re all in this together. It’s something else entirely when companies – and their people – invest time, money, and energy toward that effort.
I’ve been paying particularly close attention to how our customers have been leaning into the coronavirus (COVID-19) conversation in some genuinely remarkable and heart-warming ways. Many are using their expertise and applying their knowledge to be part of the solution.
Here’s a list of how just a few of our customers are giving back. Not surprisingly, their employees are eagerly spreading the word of their good deeds to amplify some truly wonderful messages.
Booz Allen Hamilton
The management and technology consulting firm responded in a big way to the crisis. The company announced it was creating a $100 million fund to support employees, their families, and the communities where they live during the pandemic. The money goes toward initiatives such as childcare, health and well-being, and other programs related to COVID-19.
Booz Allen also has a deep history with the military. The independent Booz Allen Foundation is helping military families and veterans. Finally, the company is supporting programs to help vulnerable populations, including the Feeding America network of food banks and community-based agencies.
The company has been on the front lines of the crisis by vastly increasing production of the N95 respirator masks. It also has been helping get that protective equipment into the hands of the healthcare workers who need them the most – as fast as possible.
The biopharmaceutical corporation (and The Pfizer Foundation) committed $40 million in charitable cash grants to combat the pandemic both in the U.S. and globally. Pfizer also joined with other peer companies to announce that medical personnel could volunteer their services in the fight against COVID-19 while still maintaining their base pay and benefits.
Even though this has been a devastating time for the travel industry in general and the airlines in particular, JetBlue has been hard at work transporting medical professionals and supplies to places where they are needed. The company also has been donating supplies like blankets, pillows, and in-flight amenity kits to New York City hospitals as well as donating food to hunger-relief agencies.
With the hospitality industry struggling, Bacardi has committed $3 million to nonprofit organizations that assist closed bars and restaurants as part of its #RaiseYourSpirits initiative. This came after an earlier $1 million donation by Bacardi’s PATRÓN tequila brand. The family-owned company also is diverting global production of alcohol to help increase the hand sanitizer supply.
The East Coast convenience store chain, which is particularly an institution in the Philadelphia area, is providing free coffee at its stores to all healthcare workers and first responders during the crisis. The company also has donated money to organizations that feed the hungry.
The company, through the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, is committing $10 million forward relief efforts. They include donations to the World Health Organization’s response fund as well as grants to employees facing challenging circumstances such as eldercare and childcare. Also, the iconic fashion brand has begun production on masks and isolation gowns in the U.S.
Bank of America
The banking institution has been especially generous by announcing donations to help in a number of ways. That included a $100 million commitment to support local communities and vulnerable populations. The money will assist nonprofits increase medical response capacity, address food insecurity, and increase access to learning as a result of school closures through a grant to the Khan Academy.
Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA)
The Alaskan company is partnering with local municipalities to create Wi-Fi “Drive-In” locations for people who don’t have internet access at home and who usually rely on places like public libraries. They’ve installed Wi-Fi hot spots in parking lots that allow people to get internet service while adhering to social-distancing guidelines. MTA also is supporting students and educators during this time of online learning by upgrading their internet bandwidth without any additional charge.
The global cybersecurity firm, which is based in the UK, is helping small charities cope with the pandemic by providing a mix of practical advice and guidance on how to stay safe and secure online. Services include online question-and-answer sessions with cyber experts and a range of videos that explain security tips.
St. David’s HealthCare
The Texas provider is honoring the people who keep the public safe and healthy with its HeroCare program. The company is providing downloadable graphics that enable people to show their support and gratitude for healthcare professionals by displaying signs on doors, windows, and even social media.
The nation’s homeless population is always at great risk. But people are even more vulnerable when we’re all told to stay at home – and they don’t have one. It’s why the healthcare provider is donating $1 million in a collaborative project with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. In addition, Kaiser Permanente is contributing $1 million to be dispersed among 10 leading public health organizations to help strengthen the public health infrastructure and response to the pandemic in the U.S.
The convenience store chain is providing free coffee to healthcare workers, first responders, and military personnel during the crisis.
The company is committing $50 million to support critical community needs through its nonprofit partners. That includes relief grants for hunger relief, housing, support to small businesses, and assistance to low-income individuals. The goal also is to adapt the support to changing needs as the pandemic continues – such has computer and online access, and skills training.
Cherokee Nation Businesses
The Cherokee Nation has distributed more than 1,500 food packages to help ensure that more than 4,000 elderly and disabled Cherokees have plenty of food as they stay indoors during the pandemic. Each food package is designed to feed about three people for three weeks.
The biotechnology company announced that it is donating up to $12.5 million through the Amgen Foundation to support U.S. and global relief efforts around the pandemic in local communities. Amgen also is matching donations made by employees who wish to contribute to relief efforts on their own. And free online learning programs are available to help students continue their science education during school closures.
The North Carolina-based data analytics company is helping the public sector predict the spread of the virus, ensure strong supply chains for medical, food and retail supplies, and optimize health care workforces and facilities. SAS is providing a free data discovery and analytical modeling environment to empower anyone to visualize, manipulate and model coronavirus outbreak data in new or different ways.
The familiar paint company is gathering supplies from stores and warehouses to donate N95 masks, protective gloves and coveralls to hospitals, clinics and first responders. Painter’s plastic has been gathered for use in creating no-sew isolation gowns. The company has also delivered paint for newly-outfitted alternate care facilities and has donated critical coatings products to producers of ventilators, oxygen tanks and hospital bed frames.
The international carmaker is using its global supply chain and manufacturing know-how to help fight the pandemic. That includes the production of protective face mask shields for healthcare professionals, improving productivity around building ventilators, transporting infected patients, and assisting in the procurement of personal hygiene products.