Hungry for some good news? Check out how these businesses are helping those most in need.
- Posted on Apr 7, 2020
Lately, it seems like most of the news I read is bad news about Covid-19. Scores of people sick and hospitalized, healthcare workers pushed to their breaking points, families and friends separated, lonely and concerned for each other.
But one of the things that’s kept me going during this tough time is seeing the inspiring ways people are helping those in need. In my New Jersey city, alongside the scary news and statistics there are beautiful stories of people finding ways to contribute to their community. Last week, someone paid for 50 sandwiches from a local diner and donated them to one of our homeless shelters. Restaurants across the city are providing medical workers with meals and coffee. And just this morning, I read about a 96-year-old life-long resident who dutifully took out her sewing machine and began creating cloth masks for our local healthcare workers to use, now that their medical-grade supplies are running low.
That togetherness is also reflected by businesses across the country. Companies large and small are offering what they can to aid in the fight against coronavirus. Here are a few businesses that are pitching in, from converting their production lines to offering free services to those on the frontline of this crisis.
In Washington, D.C., the Washington National Opera House’s costume department shifted from making costumes to making cloth masks for local hospital staff. In the two weeks since they started, the opera’s seamstresses have made 300 masks. While cloth masks are not the N95 medical masks that the CDC recommends for those treating Covid-19 patients, they can help alleviate supply shortages.
Restaurants both big and small in hard-hit New York City are donating fresh meals to healthcare workers, the website Eater reports. In a heartwarming “pay-it-forward” moment, an East Village Taiwanese restaurant, 886, turned to its community to ask for money to pay employees after dining-in was banned. The donations from loyal patrons far exceeded their request. The restaurant’s owner has been using the extra funds to create microwavable bento boxes for NYC healthcare workers. They’ve delivered 875 boxes to 12 different Manhattan hospitals so far.
Best known for creating protective gear for hockey players, BAUER recently announced that they are repurposing their production lines to create face shields for healthcare workers. According to the Washington Post, BAUER has published manufacturing instructions and resources in a call for other corporations to join in and help fulfill the need.
Fanatics, the company that produces uniforms for Major League Baseball, halted production of jerseys and has instead begun to make masks and gowns for hospital workers out of the pintstripe material. The supplies will be distributed in Pennsylvania and nearby states, according to the Associated Press.
Perfume companies worldwide have changed their production lines to start making supplies for healthcare workers and hard-hit communities. The American beauty company Coty, which owns brands like Gucci and Burberry, is creating hand sanitizers at its factories in the U.S. to be donated to medical workers.
In New Jersey, Eclipse, a mattress company has switched from stitching beds to making masks according to NJ.com. The company plans to donate the initial batch of 38,000 masks to a local hospital. If it goes well, the company plans to ramp up production and continue to offer the masks free of charge to healthcare workers fighting Covid-19.
Starbucks announced that it will provide free tall beverages to first responders and health care workers now through May 3. Most walk-in Starbucks cafes are currently closed, with the exception of coffee shops near hospitals and healthcare centers, but drive-throughs remain open.
Many in the fashion industry are repurposing their clothing production lines to create protective equipment for healthcare workers, including Project Runway Season Four winner and fashion designer Christian Siriano, based out of New York, and global retailer H&M. Other notable names include Brooks Brothers, Chanel, Eddie Bauer and Hanes.
USA Today reports that Uber has partnered with a U.S. health care union to offer free meals and discounted rides to over 25,000 healthcare workers in the United States. The partnership means meal vouchers and 20% off rides to and from work for union healthcare workers in New York, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland.