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8 Companies Getting It Right During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Most humans are inherently good, and this goodness is most clearly displayed during times of shared struggle (with one obvious exception being warfare). The current global pandemic that has curled its tendrils about the world in recent weeks has led to countless examples of neighbor helping neighbor, healthcare worker putting patient before self, and whole communities coming together in the fight against the virus, often, ironically, by staying far apart.

Mitt Romney once said, “corporations are people.” He was right, but not in the sense that he meant it, which was an explanation of his stance on not raising corporate taxes. The fact is that companies are made up of — among such things like assets and P&Ls and such — humans. And when the humans who set the course for a corporation are good folks, they can do some great things in desperate times of need. Below are seven for-profit companies that are going above and beyond to help out right now.

Whether or not you choose to patronize these companies or merely give them a doff of the cap, you should also always consider donating to local organizations like food pantries and homeless shelters, the front line of support for many people, as well as national aid groups like The American Red Cross and international organizations like Doctors Without Borders. Corporations doing good right now is great and all, but nonprofits are committed to such efforts 24/7, 365, so throw them a bit of love. And cash.

Keen is donating 100,000 pairs of shoes to people affected by coronavirus

“The Together We Can Help initiative is fundamentally about enabling people to take positive action and build connection in a time of increasing isolation. We believe allowing people to ‘pay it forward ‘by providing someone in their community with a free pair of shoes, will help build connection at a time of great need,” said Erik Burbank, Keen Global GM Outdoor, Lifestyle, Kids. To be clear, KEEN didn’t ask for donations, the brand asked for suggestions of who needed shoes, then they sent shoes. About $10 million worth of shoes.

Amazon is hiring new workers and giving current employees raises

You were surely already shopping from Amazon and likely more now than ever, so you’ll be pleased to know it’s not going into full profit maximizer mode. (Though surely this pandemic has been good for business, frankly.) Amazon is hiring 100,000 new warehouse workers and delivery drivers, and the company is giving existing staff a $2 per hour raise through the end of April. That added cushion can help cover groceries and medicine, and help offset wages potentially lost by other members of the household.

Burger King is giving away two free kids’ meals with any purchase

For the near future, any purchase made via the Burger King app can also net two free children’s meals. The company announced they were doing this largely to help the many kids who are suddenly home but depend on their school to provide them lunch.

we’re thinking about all our guests right now—even the youngest ones. let us take care of you while you take care of your family. pic.twitter.com/fLLPT16Xnk

— Burger King (@BurgerKing) March 23, 2020

Microsoft will continue to pay all support staff even if their support isn’t needed

On March 5, in the relatively early days of the United States’ experience with COVID-19, Microsoft’s president Brad Smith announced that the company will continue to fully pay the normal wages of its support staff even if their shifts are trimmed or suspended entirely. This means the people who drive shuttles, work at cafes, clean, and so forth will not see a drop in their income and will continue to be able to support their families.

Shine Distillery led the charge to start making hand sanitizer

By now, many distilleries across America are making hand sanitizer to help out during the pandemic, but Shine Distillery & Grill in Portland was one of the first. To be clear, they’re not doing this for profit — in fact, legally they can’t even sell the stuff because it’s not an officially inspected product. But they can give it away, and because it’s an 80% ethyl alcohol solution, it will definitely kill off viruses and bacteria.

Stop & Shop is offering shopping hours for vulnerable customers.

People need food even in the midst of a viral pandemic, and not everyone can get their groceries delivered. Thus it’s heartening to know that Stop & Shop has begun offering the window from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. exclusively to those who are at most risk from COVID-19, including seniors and anyone with a compromised immune system. Many other grocery store chains are following suit.

The Honest Company is donating 3 million diapers this year.

Diapers rank just under food and water in the essentials category, and The Honest Company is committed to providing three million of these essentials, along with 30,000 packs of wipes and other baby care items. The brand is donating its products to Baby2Baby, an organization dedicated to helping children living in poverty.

Swiftwick is donating thousands of pairs of compression socks to medical personnel

Standing on your feet all day does a number on your body; standing (and running around) all day while attending to people suffering from the coronavirus does a number on the body and the psyche, so Swiftkick, maker of fine socks for activities running the gamut from running to golf to snow sports, is stepping up and donating a pair of its ASPIRE Twelve compression socks for every pair purchased. Compression socks can keep blood flowing properly, reduce fatigue and soreness, and even help prevent blood clots, which are the last thing a doctor or nurse needs right now.

Steven John
Steven John is a writer and journalist living just outside New York City, by way of 12 years in Los Angeles, by way of…
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