100 Ways the Coronavirus Crisis Is Bringing Out the Best in Humanity
We are all first responders in this crisis. COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, has stopped the world and forced most of us into self-quarantine while constant news updates report the global death toll and number of new cases each day. These are tough times.
But when times get tough, people do amazing things.
Through the lingering fear, people have banded together to perform some incredibly heartwarming acts of kindness. Businesses are offering free services, celebrities are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed the needy and care for service workers, and big businesses are donating hundreds of millions of dollars to fight the virus and help local communities.
So take a break from the regular news and look at these stories of #COVIDkindness. It'll give you hope.
Local Bank Buys Over 900 Corned Beef Sandwiches from Local Deli
The owners of TJ’s Butcher Block and Deli, a deli in Lakewood, Ohio, had no idea what they were going to do with all of the corned beef they purchased in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day. But a local bank bailed them out — and helped the community.
The First Federal Lakewood bank ordered over 900 corned beef sandwiches, which was enough "for every senior citizen in Lakewood’s surrounding senior centers."
From the deli’s Facebook page:
***Update: The outpouring of gratitude to First Federal of Lakewood is exactly why we posted originally. They should be commended for seeing an opportunity to help a small business, while at the same time helping our vulnerable population of senior citizens.
However, they did not ask for this recognition. It was never intended, on their part, for any publicity. After a public Facebook post thanking TJ's for picking up the tab, we knew we could not quietly take the credit for the donation. We did not expect the popularity of this post, but we should've expected it. Good news is a rarity this past week. Let it inspire you to be the good in your community.
Last week all of our lives changed forever. Life has changed for every industry. Every employee. Every family.
Last week we walked into our bank and mentioned that we didn’t know how we’d move all this corned beef we’d bought in preparation of St. Paddy’s.
Hours later, we found out how - First Federal Lakewood Bank stepped up and bought 900+ corned beef sandwiches for every senior citizen in Lakewood’s surrounding senior centers.
First Federal of Lakewood puts Lakewood first.
Look for the people that try to help in times of crisis. Those are your people.
Huge Flower Giveaway Brightens Philadelphians Day
Two Philadelphia flower shops that found themselves with extra flowers due to cancelled events decided to give them all away — but first, they needed even more flowers.
Katie Robinson, owner of DFW Event Design and Kerry Farbrizio, owner of Fabufloras, reached out to their wholesalers and asked if they had any unused flowers they would be willing to donate.
And those wholesalers delivered.
On March 18, Philadelphia residents who visited Rittenhouse Square were greeted to the vibrancy of 2,000 flowers arranged in stunning bouquets (the two owners had six decorators help them with that). And they were all for free.
"These are gorgeous flowers! Holy smokes almighty. Thank God for flowers!" The Philadelphia Inquirer heard a passerby exclaim.
NBA Rookie Pledges to Cover Stadium Worker Salaries
Zion Williamson, the No. 1 draft pick of the 2019 NBA draft, pledged to cover the salaries of all workers at the Smoothie King Center — home base for the Pelicans — in New Orleans for 30 days.
"This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community," the 19-year-old wrote on Instagram.
'Caremongering' Is Now a Thing
Leave it to the Canadians to set a new level of niceness. According to the BBC, over 35 Facebook groups have been created to serve communities in Canada. Over 30,000 members between these groups are offering help to those within their communities.
One person called it "caremongering," and that might just stick.
"Scaremongering is a big problem," Mita Hans, a Canadian, told the BBC. "We wanted to switch that around and get people to connect on a positive level, to connect with each other. It's spread the opposite of panic in people, brought out community and camaraderie, and allowed us to tackle the needs of those who are at risk all the time — now more than ever."
Two Twenty-Somethings Gather 1,300 Volunteers to Deliver Groceries in 72 Hours
Within 72 hours, two twenty-somethings managed to enlist 1,300 volunteers all over New York City and Jersey City to shop for and deliver groceries to elderly and vulnerable people.
They call themselves the Invisible Hands, and they even have a website to request deliveries.
According to The Associated Press, the "[v]olunteers make a point to pause and chat as they deliver.'
More Pets Are Getting Fostered in Washington, D.C.
Social distancing sucks, and it’s even worse if you live alone. One good way to find some non-contaminated company is to adopt or foster a pet from a local shelter. That’s what some people in Washington, D.C., are doing.
The DCist reports: "The Humane Rescue Alliance had an average of five foster applications per day earlier in March, but received 90 signups on Monday alone. DC Paws, another local rescue, has also seen an uptick, with about 30 foster applications coming in in just the last couple of days, according to volunteer Lizzy Dawahare.'
This is a shining example — but many shelters around the country (and homeless pets) really need some help right now as some are being forced to close or operate with fewer volunteers than usual. According to CNN, "shelters are offering discounts and, in some cases, free adoptions to get their animals into safe homes. Many shelters that are closed to the public are offering one-on-one appointments."
13-Year-Old Japanese Girl Handcrafts Hundreds of Face Masks
A junior high school girl in Yamanashi, Japan, handcrafted 612 face masks for the sick and vulnerable.
Hime Takimoto, 13, used 80,000 yen ($732) of her savings and has been hard at work crafting them since February, spending up to five hours a day making them.
She donated them to the Yamanashi governor on March 17. Each mask comes with the message, "Wash your hands and gargle diligently."
Milwaukee Bucks Ballers Donate Hundreds of Thousands to Arena Workers
At least two team members of the Milwaukee Bucks have pledged to help the workers at Fiserv Forum during the NBA suspended season. Giannis Antetokounmpo first donated $100,000, which was followed by a matching donation from his teammate Khris Middleton.
Then the entire team joined in. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Every player on the roster pledged to make a donation, and those contributions will be matched by the organization to create a fund to pay workers during what will be at least a 30-day period without NBA games, a stretch that includes about 10 postponed home games."
There’s a Push to Send Nursing Home Residents Letters
Nursing home residents need some brightness in these gloomy times.
A group of four siblings in Massachusetts used their restless energy for good, and crafted dozens of colorful letters and sent them to nursing homes.
The trend is catching on, too, with people on Twitter showing off letters their children have written and are encouraging others to do the same.
Expensify Redirects Funds, Will Reimburse SNAP Users $50
Expense management company Expensify has temporarily redirected all charitable funds to its hunger initiative and will reimburse up to $50 per family for those enrolled in America's SNAP program.
Here’s how that works, per the company's email:
- Purchase food as normal with your SNAP card
- Download Expensify on iOS or Android, for free
- Join the org/hungerpolicy
- SmartScan the receipt, which will tell us how much you paid and show that it was paid for with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card
- Submit it to email@example.com
- Set up your bank account to receive the funds
- So long as we have funds available, we will reimburse up to $50 per family (one time), the very next day.
For more information, visit Expensify’s hunger initiative. They’re also taking donations.
People Hang Christmas Lights to Lighten the Mood
We might be quarantined, but we can still drive. So why not make that experience more cheerful?
Lane Grindle, a broadcaster for the Milwaukee Brewers, posed a question on Twitter: What if we all hung our Christmas lights back up, so we could drive around and scope them out?
The tweet received over 2,000 likes, and some people think it’s a great idea. CNN reported that people around the country are taking their lights out of storage and hanging them up all over again, including at least one person in the U.K.
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively Donate $1 Million to Food Banks
"Deadpool" star Ryan Reynolds and his wife, "Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively, donated $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.
"I think we can all agree, Covid-19 is an a--h---," Reynolds wrote on Twitter. "If you can help, visit, FeedingAmerica.org and/or FoodBanksCanada.ca."
New Yorkers Raise Thousands for New York City Food Bank
A GoFundMe for a New York City food bank raised over $11,000 in three days.
"We need to make sure that the non-profits who serve our communities have the resources both to keep their volunteers and staff healthy and to provide food to meet rising demand," wrote Frederick Joseph, who started the GoFundMe. "Every $1 donation to the Food Bank for NYC provides 5 meals to those at risk."
Direct donations also can be made at the Food Bank for NYC's website.
Metropolitan Opera Streams Live Opera for Free
In wake of the coronavirus, the Metropolitan Opera is hosting free nightly opera streams, so residents around the world — not just New York City — can get their opera on.
They recommend grabbing the Met Opera On Demand app for Roku, Amazon, Apple and Samsung Smart TVs for best viewing.
NBA Basketball Player Donates $100,000 to Mayo Clinic
Minnesota Timberwolves player Karl-Anthony Towns donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, on March 15. The 2015 No. 1 draft pick announced it on Twitter.
"Thank you to the Mayo Clinic workers and all healthcare workers who are working around the clock to treat us. You are our heroes. We’re all in this together, let’s protect ourselves and the community around us."
Medical Dramas Donating Equipment to Hospitals
They’re not real doctors or nurses, but they do have real equipment.
Medical dramas such as "The Resident," "Station 19," and "The Good Doctor," are donating their masks, gloves, scrubs and other medical equipment to actual hospitals.
The above photo was shared by Karen Law of Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. The supplies were donated from "The Resident" television show.
1,000 Retired Nurses and Doctors Answer New York City’s Call for Help
Some 1,000 retired nurses and doctors answered New York City’s call to join their medical reserve in just 24 hours.
The Medical Reserve Corps already has 9,000 members.
Now they’re at 10,000 and growing.
Bank of America Donates $100 Million to Fight Coronavirus Epidemic, Help Communities
Bank of America pledged $100 million to organizations countrywide in order to combat the direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Specific organizations were not identified, but the bank, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, said in a press release the $100 million "will help increase medical response capacity, address food insecurity, increase access to learning as a result of school closures, and provide support to the world’s most vulnerable populations."
LinkedIn Offers Free Courses on Working From Home
If you find yourself getting easily distracted or unable to manage your time effectively while working from home, head on over to LinkedIn and take one of the career site’s 16 video courses about working from home.
The site is offering them for free. Both employers and employees can find some helpful advice there.
Pizza Shop Raises Pay, Gives Away Free Pizza for Hospital Workers, Staff
&Pizza, an East Coast pizza chain shop with 40 stores, is perhaps doing the most out of any business for its employees during this time.
It’s giving its 750 employees and their families unlimited free pizza, raising wages by $1, offering $5 car-share rides, and allowing employees who may have come in contact with anyone suspected of having COVID-19 to have 14 days of paid leave.
The pizza shop is temporarily closing its offices in New York and Washington, D.C, and its executives will head to various pizza shops on the East Coast to work. Hospital workers get free pizza, too, and delivery is free for regular customers.
"It’s a combination of doing the right thing first and then figuring out how to pay for it," Michael Lastoria, &Pizza’s co-founder, told The New York Times. "But we are lucky to have incredibly supportive shareholders who understand what they signed up for."
Luxury Goods Company Converts Stores, Factories for Hand Sanitizer Production
LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, converted three of its perfume stores and makeup factories into hand sanitizer manufacturers.
The company will then give away all of its hand sanitizer — which could be 12 tons worth of the stuff — to hospitals in Paris.
Chef Turns Restaurants Into Community Kitchens
Jose Andres, a Michelin-starred chef, is turning eight of his restaurants in New York City and Washington, D.C., into community kitchens with $7 meals.
Those who are struggling due to the coronavirus outbreak or can’t pay will receive free food.
"[P]eople have to eat," he said.
Michigan Restaurant Offers Free Meals to Students, Service Workers in Need
The Southerner, a restaurant in Saugatuck, Michigan, is offering a free fried chicken meal to any student in need while schools are closed, plus a free ride if needed.
"We will have a cooler on our patio with free fried chicken picnic lunches and a healthy snack. No need to call. We will also have a 'tab' through the Interurban if any student needs help with a ride getting here," the restaurant wrote on its Facebook page.
The Southerner also extended its offer of free meals to "our restaurant friends in need of a meal."
Don’t forget to tip.
Netflix Creates $100 Million Fund for Creatives
Netflix is creating a $100 million fund to help the many crew members affected by the shutdown. The majority of that fund will go to workers who were laid off from Netflix’s own productions.
"We’re in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. "This is in addition to the two weeks pay we’ve already committed to the crew and cast on productions we were forced to suspend last week."
Fifteen million dollars will go to third parties and nonprofits, including the Motion Picture Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance.
Rudy Gobert Donates $500,000
Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert, who was the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, is contributing a total of $500,000 to COVID-related causes.
Of that $500,000, $200,000 will go to aid part-time employees who normally work for NBA events.
The remaining $300,000 will be split evenly between families affected by the virus in Utah, Oklahoma City and Gobert’s native country, France.
These Penguins Got to Take a Field Trip
Like basically everything else, aquariums are off-limits as we try to flatten the curve. But here’s one good thing to come from that — the penguins in Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium got to waddle around on the other side of the glass.
The aquarium shared videos on Twitter of rockhopper penguins exploring the aquarium’s inner area and gazing at fish tanks.
Son, Unable to Visit Mother in Assisted Living Home, Serenades Her from Street
We all need to share the love.
Chinese Professor Uses Anime Schoolgirl Avatar to Teach Remote Students
Getting students to pay attention during class is difficult enough in the classroom. When they need to learn from home, it’s a whole new level of distraction.
In China, one (male) digital art professor at Shanghai University’s Fine Arts College used an avatar of an anime schoolgirl to capture his student’s attention.
That avatar worked better than other ones, including monsters and robots.
Servers Receive $2,500 Tip Right Before Statewide Shutdown
An hour after the governor of Ohio announced restaurants would be closed statewide, one patron left a very large tip at the Coaches Bar and Grill in Columbus — a $2,500 gratuity on a $29.75 tab.
The customer, a regular at the eatery who wished to remain anonymous, asked that the tip be shared with the restaurant’s 13 employees.
States, Cities, HUD Halt Evictions and Foreclosures
No one is getting evicted in the state of New York for an indefinite period of time, thanks to the coronavirus. State officials said that all eviction proceedings will be suspended until further notice — a move that will allow people in affected industries to breathe a bit easier, albeit six feet away from anyone else.
Other areas have enacted similar provisions, like Oklahoma City, Pennsylvania and California, although California’s measures are not nearly as sweeping.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development also has suspended all foreclosures and evictions for homeowners with government-backed mortgages. Likewise, homeowners with a mortgage owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not have to worry about being foreclosed upon or evicted in the near future.
Ohio School District Uses Buses to Deliver Meals
At the Elgin Local Schools in Ohio’s Marion County, the kids are home, but the cooks are still in the kitchen. Those schools are continuing their production of 350 breakfasts and 800 lunches each day, and they’re delivering them to students via school bus.
"It’s very trying times, we have over 50 percent free and reduced lunches in our district," Jason Hix, activities director at Elgin Local Schools told WSYX ABC 6. "So, it’s great to get the food out to the kids since they can’t come to school."
Portland Landlord Allowing Tenants to Live Rent-Free for April
A landlord in South Portland, Maine, told his tenants they would not have to make payments for the month of April due to COVID-19.
"One of my units is one family with a small child on a single income that is hourly, and I know that they are under financial stress a lot of the time," the landlord, Nathan Nichols, told ABC-8. "It would be a lot more expensive for me to lose a tenant than to give one month’s rent off."
Nichols has six tenants living in two units. At least one other landlord said they would do the same in the comments on Nichols’ Facebook post.
Scottish Shop Gives Away Hand Sanitizer, Face Masks to the Elderly
A corner shop in Stenhousemuir, Scotland, spent £2,000 (about $2,400) on bags of hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes and face masks for the elderly.
The owners of the Day Today Express made the bags available to anyone over the age of 65 and even hand-delivered some of the 500 bags to those who weren’t able to fetch one themselves.
GrubHub Delays Fees for Independent Restaurants
Food delivery service GrubHub announced it would be delaying the collection of $100 million in fees for independent restaurants across the country in order to improve cash flow.
An anonymous restaurant owner told Eater that it was like an interest-free loan.
China Sends Doctors, Supplies to Italy
Italy, which is desperately fighting the coronavirus, will receive some help from an unlikely ally: China.
The country is sending doctors, medical experts and supplies, including 10,000 pulmonary ventilators, two million face masks and 20,000 protective suits.
Alibaba Co-Founder Donates Millions in Equipment to Africa, United States
Jack Ma, Chinese billionaire and co-founder of Alibaba, is donating 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks and 60,000 protective suits and face shields throughout Africa.
According to CNN, Ma also is donating 500,000 testing kits and one million face masks to the United States.
He plans to donate items to Europe and Iran as well.
Australian Supermarket Delivers Toilet Paper to the Elderly
When faced with a pandemic, the world reacts by buying all of the toilet paper. This has created some serious problems for those who were unprepared, and is especially problematic for the elderly, who need to remain isolated.
In Australia, the supermarket chain Woolworths and Meals on Wheels teamed up to deliver both toilet paper and meals to those who need it most. The supermarket also has opened its stores an hour early, allotting that time for only the elderly and certain other individuals to shop.
Josh Gad Reads Books On Twitter
Josh Gad — more commonly known as Olaf from "Frozen" to children — took to Twitter on March 13 and announced that he would be reading a book live on Twitter each night.
"I’ll try to provide at least 10 minutes of day care to you and your families a night while we’re going through this unprecedented global event," he said.
The first book he read was "Olivia Goes to Venice" by Ian Falconer, reported Good Morning America.
Norway Prime Minister Holds Press Conference to Tell Kids 'It Is OK to Be Scared'
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg held a news conference on March 16 aimed at the country’s children.
For about half an hour, Soldberg fielded questions posted via a children’s television program, and told kids, "It is OK to be scared when so many things happen at the same time" during the "special days" of the coronavirus.
Workday Gives Employees a Two-Week Cash Bonus
Workday, a software company headquartered in Pleasanton, California, is giving all of its lower-level employees a cash bonus worth two weeks of pay, which will cost the company about $80 million.
The company employs about 12,200 people. In a blog post, the company said the money bonus was to "help accommodate any unforeseen costs and needs at their discretion."
Also notable, Workday is giving a year’s access to Headspace, an app to manage anxiety. Headspace is offering some extra free support for non-subscribers in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Strangers Willing to Help
A person on Reddit’s COVID19Positive subreddit posted this message.
The Sweden-based user says he posted a notice on his apartment door warning neighbors that he has coronavirus symptoms and then received this message.
It’s in English — the user believes it came from international grad students.
Couple Leaves Enormous Tip at Houston Restaurant
After learning that all restaurants in the country will have to shut down and only offer delivery service, a couple at a Houston, Texas, restaurant decided to leave a tip big enough for the entire restaurant’s staff.
The anonymous couple had a $90 dinner at Irma’s Southwest and left a tip over 100 times the cost of their meal — $1,900 in cash and $7,500 on their credit card, totaling $9,400.
The enormous gratuity was enough to give each of the restaurant’s 30 employees $300 each.
"They were amazed that a client would care enough about them to leave that amount to help them get through this tough time," restaurant owner Louis Galvan told CNN.
At Least the Environment Is Getting a Break
Since millions and millions of people worldwide are self-isolating, that means less business as usual and less travel. While it’s awful in many ways, there’s one bright spot: The environment gets a break.
In just China, which contributes 30 percent of the world’s carbon emissions annually, it’s estimated that the coronavirus has cut the country’s emissions by over 100 million metric tons. CO2 levels around the world appear to be falling, too.
It’s not much, but at least it’s some good news, right?
GoFundMe Launches Official Coronavirus Relief Fund
In response to the pandemic, GoFundMe.org launched a coronavirus general relief fund to support both affected individuals and organizations working to help fight the virus and offer assistance.
GoFundMe says it will select and distribute donations to various verified GoFundMe campaigns.
The fund received over $50,000 in donations in just seven days.
Every MLB Team Is Donating $1 Million to Ballpark Employees
Each of Major League Baseball’s 30 clubs has committed $1 million to assist the thousands of ballpark employees affected by the coronavirus crisis, which has delayed the baseball season indefinitely. Exactly where each club is donating the funds will be released in the oncoming days.
"The timing of these announcements will vary because of the need to coordinate with state and local laws as well as collective bargaining obligations in an effort to maximize the benefits realized by each group of employees," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love."
Woman Uses Lunch Break to Shop for Her Elderly Neighbors
A woman in the triangle district of Durham, North Carolina, is helping her elderly neighbors out by going grocery shopping for them — and she’s doing so on her lunch break. Becky Hoeffler, a Duke University employee working from home, said the idea came to her when her 91-year-old grandfather said he was headed to the store, which concerned her.
"So that’s what made me think, maybe I can go grocery shopping for others since I do live in a community that has several senior citizen neighbors," Hoeffler told CBS 17. She posted a sign in her neighborhood advertising that she's available to help.
"I think being able to help people and being able to help your neighbor is one of the most American things that you can do," she said. "I think utilizing people power is one of the best ways that we can combat the virus."
Countries Applaud Health-Care Workers
A campaign in the Netherlands asked people to step outside on their balconies at 8 p.m. on March 17 and give a three-minute round of applause for the country’s health-care and public service workers.
People did, and a short video of that heartwarming scene can be found on Twitter.
Residents in lockdown in France, Spain and Italy also coordinated rounds of applause for their health-care heroes.
U.S. Internet, Wireless Companies Offering Free Wi-Fi, Perks
Several U.S. internet and wireless providers are giving away 60 days of free Wi-Fi access and/or other things. Here’s the list:
- Comcast is giving away free public Wi-Fi for 60 days in public locations and small businesses. It also temporarily lifted data caps.
- AT&T is doing the same as Comcast
- Charter also is giving away 60 days of free public Wi-Fi as well as free broadband for households with students through college age for first-time subscribers
- Verizon won’t enact late fees or disconnects
- T-Mobile is providing unlimited smartphone data to all subscribers and is increasing data allowance to schools
- Spring is giving unlimited data for 60 days
- Cox is increasing speeds on its lower-tiered broadband plans
Disneyland Donating Food Surplus to Local Communities
Disney has closed its resorts around the world.
In Florida, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are donating their surplus foods to local communities. That food, which includes fresh salads, packaged goods, fruit, dairy and cooked meals, is going to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The food pantry will distribute those goods throughout Orange County.
In France, Disneyland Paris donated 15 tons of food to local communities.
J.J. Watt and Kealia Ohai Donate $350,000 to Food Bank
Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, and his wife, professional soccer player Kealia Ohai, donated a whopping $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank.
Every $1 given to that food bank and those like it provides three entire meals (food banks receive discounts from suppliers, so their dollars go much further).
That means Watt and Ohai’s donation will provide a whopping 1,050,000 meals to the Houston area.
Country Music Star Gives His Restaurant's Employees $1,000 Each
When country music star Dierks Bentley had to close down his restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, he gave his 90 employees $1,000 each.
"My heart goes out to all the guys/girls down on Lower Broad. Feels like yesterday that it was me down there working for tips," the singer wrote on Twitter. "@riothospitalitygroup and I encourage all bar owners on Lower Broadway to take care of their bartenders, bar backs, waitresses, security dishwashers etc the best they can."
Startup Completely Switches from Booze-Making to Hand Sanitizer Manufacturing
New York City-based startup Air Co. made waves in the alcohol industry when it launched in 2019. The startup can make vodka at a net carbon-negative rate by using a novel technology that pulls carbon dioxide from the air, mixes it with water, and then turns it into ethanol using solar-powered energy.
Now, as a sustainable business, the company has redirected its technology from making booze to making hand sanitizer.
Air Co. is making about 1,000 50-milliliter bottles of hand sanitizer per week and is donating every bottle to various organizations and restaurants in New York City.
Facebook Announces $100 Million Relief Fund for Small Businesses
Facebook rarely gets good press, but they’re stepping up to help small businesses during these tough times.
The social media giant has created a $100 million program for up to 30,000 small businesses around the world for an average of $3,333 per business.
New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Donates $1 Million to Service Industry
Gayle Benson, who owns the New Orleans Saints NFL team and the New Orleans Pelicans NBA team, established a $1 million assistance fund for New Orleans service workers.
According to WDSU, beneficiaries of the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund will be nonprofits working to help those in the service and hospitality industries.
Social Media Influencer/Rapper Sets up Relief Effort
Controversial social media influencer/rapper Elijah Daniel announced on Twitter that he had amassed 100,000 care packages of necessary items to be distributed among Los Angeles’ homeless population.
Daniel plans to expand the organization, called Cult for Good, to San Diego, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.
Trader Joe’s Paying Bonuses to Employees
Trader Joe’s is establishing a "special bonus pool' for store employees after over 10,000 employees signed an online petition demanding hazard pay, according to an internal memo seen by Business Insider.
A spike in sales seemed to also lead to this decision, and the bonus pool will be divided equally among employees.
Ciara and Russell Wilson Donate One Million Meals to Food Banks
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his many award-winning singer/songwriter wife, Ciara, pledged to donate one million meals to food banks around the Seattle area.
The couple, who announced their donation on Instagram and Twitter, are partnering with Food Lifeline, a nonprofit that provides food to over 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs in the western Washington area.
Enterprise Lowers Its Age Minimum to Rent Cars
In response to college students needing to leave closing campuses, Enterprise has lowered its minimum age for renting a car to 18 and waived its young renter fees through May 31, 2020.
Uber Eats Waives Delivery Fees
Uber Eats also is stepping up to help restaurants by waiving its delivery fees for every independent business on its app.
It’s not clear how long the company will waive these costs, but the more than 100,000 independent restaurants that use Uber Eats will have a bit more cash flow for the near future.
Singapore Nonprofit Gives a Free Hand Sanitizer Bottle to Every Household
The Temasek Foundation, a state-funded Singapore nonprofit, is giving every household in the country a 500-milliliter bottle of zero-alcohol sanitizer.
While the CDC recommends using hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol, it’s certainly better than having none at all.
Quicken Loans Donates $1.2 Million to Detroit Charities
Quicken Loans and the Gilbert Family Foundation, both of which are owned by Dan Gilbert, have donated $1.2 million to Detroit organizations in order to combat the viral outbreak.
The United Way for Southeastern Michigan received $500,000, the Using Housing Coalition received $250,000, and the remaining $450,000 is going to various small businesses and grant partners.
Quicken also is matching fundraising for team members for select charities and food banks.
Dell Donates Over $4 Million to Fight COVID-19
Dell Technologies is donating over $4 million to fight the coronavirus in China and around the world. The company is giving about $248,000 to fund needed hospital equipment like surgical masks for local hospitals in China and will donate $850,000 to the CDC in Hubei to upgrade its technology.
Dell also will donate $3 million in funds and technology to front-line organizations around the world. It’s also matching employee donations up to $10,000 per employee for donations given to the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund.
Nike Donates $15 Million to Fight Coronavirus
Nike is donating millions of dollars to fight COVID-19, and most of that money will stay in Oregon. Nike’s co-founder, Phil Knight, and his wife Penny, along with its CEO John Donahoe and his wife, Eileen, are personally donating $10 million.
One million dollars of that sum will go to the Oregon Food Bank, $2 million will go to the Oregon Community Recovery Fund and $7 million will go to the Oregon Health and Science University.
The remaining $5 million will be spent at various organizations throughout the country and the world.
USAA Donates $1 Million to Local Nonprofits
USAA, a San Antonio, Texas-based financial services company, announced that it would donate $1 million to local nonprofits.
The donation will be dispersed to the San Antonio Food Bank, South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, Meals on Wheels, Haven for Hope and United Way of San Antonio. The company also will match employee donations up to $500 to nonprofits.
The announcement came one day after a USAA employee in San Antonio tested positive for the coronavirus.
New York City Tenants Band Together
A user on Reddit posted the above note, saying that their sister posted it in a New York City apartment building.
Share the idea.
Distilleries Make, Donate Hand Sanitizer
The hand sanitizer shortage — caused in part by the current trophy holder for world’s biggest jerk, Matt — is a serious problem, especially for those with compromised immune systems.
A distillery in Atlanta, Georgia, decided to use its stock of pure alcohol to create hand sanitizer for the community and give it away for free.
They ran out within a few days, then went ahead and ordered "tens of thousands of two-ounce spray hand sanitizer bottles" to be given away for free, according to 11 Alive.
Brad Paisley Opens Free Grocery Store Early, Delivers to Elderly
Country music star Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly, had plans to open up The Store — a grocery store offering free food to those experiencing food insecurity — in April.
But with the pandemic and the recent trail of destruction left by tornadoes that devastated Tennessee and Nashville, the couple has opened their store early.
The Store, which operates on a partnership with Belmont University and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, is located in Nashville and will deliver groceries to the area’s elderly.
Bill Gates, Wellcome, Mastercard Establish $125 Million Fund for Coronavirus Treatment
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has launched a $125 million initiative to speed the development of finding treatment for the coronavirus.
The program, called the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, aims to "coordinate R&D efforts and remove barriers to drug development and scale-up to address the epidemic," according to a press release.
The Gates Foundation already committed $100 million to fight the COVID-19 virus in March. Of that money, $50 million will go to this program. Mastercard donated $25 million and Wellcome, a London-based health research charity, donated $50 million.
Wynn Resorts Pays Its Employees
Wynn Resorts, which owns six luxury resorts and employs approximately 26,000 people, said it would be paying their full-time employees during the coronavirus lockdown.
"We’re going to work each and every day to ensure the safety of all of you and that you know that we’re going to do everything we can for you to keep your job," Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said in a video sent to employees, which was obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Virginia Energy Company Donates $1 Million, Won’t Disconnect Those Who Can’t Pay
The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation — a charitable arm of the Richmond, Virginia-based energy company, Dominion — donated $1 million to nonprofit organizations.
Of the donation, $250,000 has been allocated to the American Red Cross, and $750,000 will go to local charitable organizations.
Dominion also will not disconnect services due to nonpayment, and the company is looking to waive late and reconnection fees.
Indianapolis Colts Owner Donates $1 Million to Indiana Food Bank
Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts football team, challenged the people of Indiana to raise $200,000 for the Gleaners Food Bank to help people in need during the current crisis. If they did, he would personally donate $1 million.
It took less than 24 hours for people to raise that money, and Irsay added his $1 million to the pile.
Gleaner serves hunger relief organizations throughout 21 counties in Indiana.
IATSE Leaders Donate $2.5 Million for Out-of-Work Entertainment Workers
With practically every television show, stage play and movie on indefinite hiatus, there’s a lot of entertainment industry workers who have unexpectedly found themselves out of a job.
They’ll need some help, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is trying to do something about it.
Leaders of IATSE, which represents over 140,000 entertainment industry crew members, are donating $2.5 million to entertainment industry-related charities.
The money will go to the Actors Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund of Canada, according to Variety.
Mark Cuban Offering Reimbursements for Meals Purchased by His Employees
Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner Mark Cuban is offering a food reimbursement plan to all employees of the Dallas Mavericks and any of Cuban’s other companies.
Under the plan, employees who purchase breakfast or lunch from independent, local establishments (in other words, no chains) in northern Texas will be fully refunded.
Staff at the American Airlines Center, the Mavs’ home stadium, will be paid.
Cash App Offering Cash on Twitter
Cash App is sending people money on Twitter for those who send a "$cashtag." The Cash App is owned by Square, which was founded by Jack Dorsey, who also co-founded Twitter.
Dorsey also tweeted about this. It’s not clear if this is an actual plan or if Dorsey is picking out people on Twitter who seem like they need some financial help.
Probably the latter.
GoFundMe Relief Fund for Hollywood Support Staff Shatters Goal
A GoFundMe established for "assistants, PAs, coordinators, readers and other support staff" who have been laid off due to the lockdown completely shattered its $100,000 goal by nearly three times that amount.
The relief fund reached over $340,000 (and still climbing) in just less than a week. The fund’s creators aim to provide one-time stipends of either $450 or $900 for 111-222 support staffers.
With fundraising far surpassing that goal, they are now offering stipends of $600 and $1,050 for 500 to 800 people.
Moncler Donating $11 Million to New Hospital in Milan
Italy has been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 virus, and it’s clear that the country’s health-care system needs much more support (the same could be said about America).
Moncler, a fashion company known for its skiwear, is donating $10.9 million to help build a hospital in Milan that is specifically designed to treat COVID-19 patients, its CEO Remo Ruffini announced.
The facility will be 270,000 square feet and have more than 400 intensive care units.
The Streams of Venice Are Clean
Those who have visited Venice know that the canal waterways are soiled with debris and trash left by tourists.
But with Italy on lockdown and tourist season postponed indefinitely, Venice’s canals are clean and clear.
Even the dolphins are coming back.
Florida Bar Helps its Employees with Their Rent
Death or Glory, a bar in Delray, Florida, gave its 25 full-time employees a stipend for up to $1,000 in rent in light of the bar’s temporary closing.
The money is coming directly from the owners.
Author Raises Over $16,000 on Twitter for People Who Need It
Shea Serrano, author of "The Rap Yearbook," was concerned about how much the coronavirus was going to affect service industry workers and other people who would be out of a job. So he tweeted:
"Who has a bill coming up that they’re not sure they’re gonna be able to pay send me your bill and your Venmo"
According to The New York Times, "His feed quickly turned into a collective outpouring of stories about chronic illnesses and looming debt burdens. Mr. Serrano accepted some donors’ money and redistributed it to those in need; many of his followers sent money directly to complete strangers, using mobile payment systems like Venmo and PayPal."
He raised $16,500 and counting.
Cowboys Lineman Matches $40,000 in Donations to Combat Child Hunger
Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Travis Fredrick announced on Twitter that he and his wife would be matching donations up to $40,000 to raise money to fight child hunger.
"With schools closed for extended periods, kids lose access to food. A group of my teammates and coaches along with my wife & I are matching $40k in donations to help in this time of need. $2 feeds a kid for a day and $25 for two full weeks. Anything helps: https://bit.ly/38V0U"
Frederick is using, and frequently uses, Give Box, for the Team Griffin Foundation, of which he is president. Give Box is a payment processing company for nonprofits that offers low rates with no subscription fee.
Discord Ups Its Video Streaming Service
Pretty much every person who should be in school is now stuck at home. And a whole bunch of that population likes to play and stream video games.
Discord, a popular video game chat and voice app, upped its free video streaming option, which can be used for streaming video games and live screen sharing (hello, watching movies with friends), from 10 people to 50 people at a time.
Musicians Host Free Virtual Concerts
Music superstars work from home, too. While their concerts have been cancelled, some rock stars, country music singers and pop stars have been live streaming mini-shows from their home or empty venues.
The Dropkick Murphys played a set to an empty venue for St. Patrick’s Day, Bono previewed a new song live from Facebook, and Luke Combs played a few songs on his Instagram.
Billboard has a continually updating page about all the upcoming live streams from musicians you might check out.
Brooklyn Bar Delivers Free Toilet Paper with Margaritas
A Buzzfeed reporter found some magic at his local bar in Brooklyn, which is delivering free toilet paper with bottles of their pre-mixed margarita for $25.
That bar is Pearl’s Social and Billy Club, located on St. Nicholas Avenue, for any of you Brooklynites.
Broadway Star Listens to High Schoolers Sing
Laura Benanti, a Tony Award-winning Broadway star, asked high school students whose plays have been cancelled to send her their musical numbers on Twitter.
"If you were meant to perform in your High School musical and it was cancelled please post yourself singing and tag me. I want to be your audience!! Sending all my love and black market toilet paper," Benanti tweeted.
Tons of young people tweeted her back with performances from "Footloose," "Phantom of the Opera," "Matilda" and more. Their plays might be cancelled, but they found an audience online.
Biogen Donates $10 Million to Fight the Virus
Biogen Inc., a biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is donating $10 million to fight the coronavirus. The majority of those funds will go to nonprofit organizations in the United States, Italy and other countries.
"This donation will be used to help expand testing options, ease the strain on medical systems, provide training for front line health workers and support access to necessities like food," the company said in a statement.
The company has some personal reasons to fight the virus with this hefty donation. In late February, Biogen hosted a meeting at a hotel, which facilitated the spread of 77 coronavirus cases, the majority of known cases in Massachusetts at that time.
Going to the Bar Is Out. Drinking Together Online is the New Normal
One way to keep the cabin fever at bay is to hang out with friends online. Not in just a chat room, but in a video call.
This type of social interaction already has a name for it in Japan — on-nomi.
It’s an entirely new word, and it doesn’t seem too difficult to pronounce when you’re drunk.
U-Haul Offers a Month of Storage for College Kids
College students who were forced to leave campus can get 30 days of free storage with U-Haul.
"We don’t know how every student is affected. But we know they are affected," U-Haul president John Taylor said in a press release.
London Tech Firms Offer Free Consulting, Workshops for Employer Struggles
For some, working at home is a breeze. For others, it’s a struggle.
Employers who are worried about projects getting done at home may need some help ironing out all the new kinks that will arise from their new work-at-home workforce, and one tech firm in London is offering that kind of consulting help for free.
Tbk, a 10-year-old software and marketing firm based in London, is offering free online consulting advice in the wake of COVID-19.
Likewise, Ahria Consulting, another London-based marketing firm, is offering three free webinars about managing remote employees.
Gary Neville Opens His Hotels for Health Workers
Former Manchester United soccer player Gary Neville, who owns two hotels in Manchester, England, has closed his hotels to the public and reopened them for National Health Services workers.
These health workers will be allowed to stay, free of charge.
He made the announcement on Twitter and said that his staff will receive full pay.
Gaming Company Switches Production Lines From Hardware to Surgical Masks
Razer, a gaming hardware company headquartered in Irvine, California, is switching some of its production lines from gaming peripherals to surgical mask manufacturing.
"Over the past few days, our designers and engineers have been working 24-hour shifts to convert some of our existing manufacturing lines to produce surgical masks so that we can donate them to countries around the world," Razer co-founder Min-Liang Tan said on Twitter.
Restaurant Turns Into Relief Center for Laid-Off Workers
Nancy Silverton, an award-winning chef and restauranteur, is using chi SPACCA as a relief space for service industry workers.
The Los Angeles-based restaurant is now a place for free meals and supplies like diapers and canned goods.
Chi SPACCA is located at 6610 Melrose Ave. Pickup hours are from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
'Modern Family' Star Donates 200,000 Meals to Kansas Food Bank
Eric Stonestreet, known for his role as Cam on "Modern Family," announced on Twitter that he is donating 200,000 meals to Harvesters Food Network in Kansas City, Missouri.
Several people in the tweet thread said they wanted to or already had donated to Harvesters because of Stonestreet’s tweet.
Patrick Mahomes Commits $100,000 to Public Schools, Local Programs
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes via his 15 and Mahomies foundation has committed $100,000 to Kansas City Public School lunch programs and other local organizations that help fight hunger throughout Missouri.
Patton Oswalt Performs Stand-Up from His Balcony
Comedian Patton Oswalt went outside to give a short stand-up skit for his neighbors. "This COVID-19. I didn’t even see COVID 1 through 18," Oswalt joked to an audience of two people across the street.
"Watching the videos from Italy inspired me. Entertainers must offer hope & humor to their neighbors in this time of quarantine," he wrote on Twitter.
JPMorgan Chase Pledges $50 Million to Fight the Virus
JPMorgan Chase announced a $50 million "global philanthropic commitment" to fight the "immediate public health and long-term economic challenges" from the pandemic.
The funds will be distributed among various organizations to fight hunger, support small businesses and help nonprofits around the world.
State Senator Offers Donations Back
Matt Little, a state senator of Lakeville, Minnesota, tweeted that he would give back any donations that were recently given to his campaign for those who need the cash.
In another tweet, he asked "are you ok?" and offered to talk to anyone who needs it and opened his direct messages.
Taiwan Pledges to Donate 100,000 Masks per Week, U.S. Pledges 300,000 Hazmat Suits
Countries around the world are working together to fight COVID-19.
Taiwan and the U.S. came to an agreement on March 18 where Taiwan will supply 100,000 surgical masks to the U.S. weekly, while the U.S. would reserve 300,000 hazmat suits for Taiwan in case the country needs them.
According to the Taiwan News, both countries also are working in tandem to combat the virus in the lab and will share technology and tracing techniques.