Worldwide, people are grappling with the way that COVID-19 has affected their daily lives. All of a sudden, millions upon millions of people find themselves out of work either temporarily or permanently, most of us are cooped up at home, and businesses, schools, and many of the things we once took for granted are closed indefinitely. On top of all this, essential items and supplies are in short supply across almost every critical sector.
However, just as fear and anxiety have, good deeds from companies around the globe have spread far and wide, finding ways to give back to their communities, provide support to those who need it most, and save lives. From feeding those who are hungry to making resources available to researchers and healthcare professionals, here are some of the ways that companies are helping fight the coronavirus.
Keeping Children Occupied and Focused
While schools are closed indefinitely, parents worldwide are struggling to keep their children entertained (and educated!) during lockdown. Audible is offering hundreds of free audiobooks for children and teenagers through its streaming service Stories.
Audible’s Stories service features a wide range of content from the classics like Winnie-the-Pooh and Harry Potter to critically acclaimed literary pieces like Pride and Prejudice. The platform includes audiobooks in six different languages and all stories are completely free to stream on any device that supports Audible. You don’t even need to make an account or log in!
Mapping the COVID-19 Outbreak
Each day, millions watch for the latest figures. As the world watches, map-based dashboards help people monitor and understand the way the virus spreads in real-time, giving health agencies and governments the opportunity to jump-start their response to COVID-19 and get ahead.
Esri is just one of many examples of solutions providers who are donating their software and services to help keep communities aware of the impact of the virus. The company is currently providing its geographical information system and mapping software to communities completely free-of-charge. Esri is also working in collaboration with FEMA and the CDC in the United States.
Looking After Frontline Feet
Those working on the frontline, particularly in the emergency services and healthcare sector, are finding themselves working more hours than ever before. Resources that in some places were already stretched thin are being stretched further, with police officers, doctors, nurses, and other unsung heroes spending in excess of 12 to 18 or more hours on their feet, providing critical care to those that need it.
As a thank you for all their hard work in treating patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, Allbirds have donated $500,000 worth of shoes to members of the healthcare community. The company is also offering “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” bundles to continue donating pairs to hospital workers. Crocs is also donating 10,000 pairs of shoes each day to healthcare workers.
Supporting Small Businesses
Unfortunately, it is small businesses that will feel the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many that have closed their doors are uncertain about whether they will reopen, and unfortunately many will not.
To help small businesses, banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo are offering small businesses deferred credit card payments and grant programs to ease some of the financial hardship. Other companies like Facebook are stepping in too. The social media giant is launching a $100 million grant program for up to 30,000 small businesses across 30 countries. Finally, Yelp, a company that has faced some flak in recent years, announced $25 million in relief by waiving advertising fees and going a step further by offering free advertising.
Producing Hand Sanitizer
All of a sudden, commodities like toilet paper and hand sanitizer have become extremely scarce, with some more unscrupulous individuals trying to cash in by bulk buying these and selling them on at massively inflated prices.
To help make the latter more widely available and bolster supply, distilleries like Bacardi, Tito’s, Pernod Ricard, and others have converted their operations to produce hand sanitizer at scale. One of the most notable examples is that of Anheuser-Busch, a German brewery that is now producing hand sanitizer out of several of its U.S. partner breweries to support the American Red Cross and critical relief efforts. The initial production runs from their New York-based facility totalled almost 175,000 eight-ounce bottles that were donated to communities in California, New York, Ohio, Texas, and others.
How Communities and Individuals Are Also Making a Difference
It’s not just large companies and global organizations that are pitching in, however. Plenty of smaller communities and individuals, including work colleagues, schools, families, and friends have come together to do their bit, too.
In the UK, more than 500,000 people signed up to be National Health Service (NHS) volunteers in just a few days at the end of March at a rate of five people per second. Also in the UK, a teacher at Park House School in Newbury was praised for making masks for NHS staff by using the 3D printer in her classroom. Other schools soon followed suit.
In Canada, a team of students at the University of Toronto created a map of self-reported COVID-19 cases, helping Canadians keep the number of cases down by getting an idea ahead of time of where the potential danger zones are and where the next confirmed cases could be.
Finally, on an individual level in Spain, a cab driver received worldwide praise when news broke that he had been giving coronavirus patients free rides to local hospitals.
‘Motivational May’ at Organimi
At Organimi, we run on a theme every month, and our theme this month is “Motivational May.” This month, we have been inspired by these stories (of which the above are just a few of millions of examples) and by the work being put in by people from all walks of life, by companies big and small, and by individuals and communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made us more mindful than ever of our privilege and as such, we are making a donation to Medecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organization of over 35,000 medical and healthcare professionals, funded privately, who work worldwide to deliver critical health care support to those most in need. Their global work takes place without government funding across the spectrum of all political, economic and religious communities. You can learn more about MSF/DWB here.
Give Local. Think Global. The biggest lessons this pandemic has taught us have been about caring—needing to balance the local and the global, to think with compassion about our own communities, about those in places elsewhere, across the Americas and Europe, about behaving responsibly because of our care for others, and about the many different kinds of loss the pandemic has revealed. At Organimi, as we come down the back end of a flattened curve here in Canada, we’re also thinking about the significant challenges people have faced and will continue to face when dealing with COVID in countries that lack the people, skills, tools and resources we too often take for granted.
We have all seen the value of being better prepared and providing better support to the healthcare professionals on the front lines of serving our communities. MSF does this in those parts of the world where resources are scarce and needs plentiful. That’s why we wanted to make our small contribution here. If you want to contribute, you can join us with a donation for your country’s MSF / DWB organization here. Give Local. Think Global.
We all have our reasons to get motivated by the needs of people worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of which were brought on by the events of the month just past. We’ve also seen inspiring stories from countries around the world that motivate us all as we unite in dealing with the pandemic.
We have also seen organizations of all kinds adapt, find new ways to carry on, and create entirely new and innovative approaches to care for their employees, adapt their supply chains, and continue to service their customers. An incredible and humbling spectacle, that has been repeated numerous times across countries worldwide, bringing us all locally distant and globally close, all together in a shared experience.
And as we move through May, towards a “new normal”, there will be plenty of more examples to inspire all of us. And that is something to be motivated about!
Contribute to the COVID Relief Efforts
Using our org chart software, we have mapped out all the good deeds mentioned above to provide a visual representation of just how companies and communities are banding together to provide relief during this unprecedented time of global crisis.
If you want to do your bit, why not join us and make your own donation to Doctors Without Borders? Click here to make a donation.