Companies and brands that are performing acts of kindness during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Most people’s lives have been completely upended by the Corona Virus or COVID-19 sweeping the world. Companies around the world are pivoting and partnering their way into doing something positive during these difficult times. There will be a light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel and we will gather at restaurants, have a real happy hour and be able to be with our loved ones. In the meantime, please take a look at home brands and companies across the country are pitching in and doing their part to help:

Dairy Queen

The Dairy Queen in Pierre, SD has partnered with a local bank to provide free meals for students in their drive-through. Additionally, Dairy Queen also raised money to purchase iPads for the senior living facilities within the Pierre community to provide opportunities for their residents to FaceTime their families who are unable to visit due to strict limits on visitation. Dairy Queen provided the first $1,000.00 donation, along with $.50 of every Blizzard sold, to meet their goal of purchasing at least 20 iPads to split between local senior facilities in the area. The store is also giving out free blizzards, a soft-serve ice cream blended with mix-in ingredients, to health care workers as a thank you treat.

Teleflora

With video conference meetings becoming the new norm, why not brighten up your background with colorful fresh flowers and bring the outdoors in! Teleflora, the world’s leading floral delivery service, created eight custom virtual backgrounds that are guaranteed to bring some color to those work meetings, virtual classes, family check-in’s or even virtual happy hours with friends!

From a retro camper bouquet that’ll make you feel like you’re on an outdoor adventure to transforming yourself into a human sunflower, each background is sure to bring out the floral fanatic in everyone.

William Murray Golf Playmate Cooler

William Murray Golf, the leading golf apparel line inspired by Bill Murray and his brothers, in collaboration with Igloo Coolers launched the limited-edition William Murray Golf Playmate Cooler.

To support the Coronavirus Response Fund, 100% of profits from all William Murray Golf Playmate Coolers will benefit the CDC Foundation.

Arriving in Murray family tradition, the Playmate Cooler is adorned in the iconic Tartan plaid and features William Murray’s logo. Originally stitched in Scotland, the birthplace of golf, the Tartan plaid pattern identified the Murray family for over three centuries.

Now anyone from golf enthusiasts to those simply looking to get involved can support relief efforts by securing a limited-edition William Murray Golf Playmate for $39.99 while supplies last.

xSuit

Now more than ever, it is important to protect your health. To slow the spread of Coronavirus, the CDC recommends the use of cloth face coverings and non-surgical masks when going outside, resulting in yet another lifestyle change to many.

Which is why, xSuit, the DTC brand known for their wearable technology suits, has just launched their new xMask collection, which offers a wide variety of masks for men and women. Prices start at $40 for KN95 masks, and $17 for cloth fabric masks. The collection also offers KN95 filter replacements, and shoppers receive a free mask with any suit order.

Welly

Premium first aid brand Welly announced a major retail expansion this week to more than 10,000 doors, including CVS, Meijer, Hy-Vee, Giant Eagle, Stop & Shop, Amazon and more. Additionally, 5% of sales of the Welly Prepared Bundle Rubin the month of April are going to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

As the brand celebrates its first birthday, this retail expansion is also accompanied by a number of exciting new product launches, which include new colorful designs consisting of various animals such as llamas and sloths, groovy tie-dye patterns, and cute heart graphics, as well as preparedness kits for all of your first aid needs!

#TipsFromHome

Diageo North America — parent company to Bulleit Frontier Whiskey and Tanqueray Gin, among other award-winning spirits brands — announced #TipsFromHome, a social movement to support those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the bartending and restaurant communities.

With thousands of hospitality workers across the country currently facing unprecedented challenges, the #TipsFromHome program demonstrates Diageo’s ongoing commitment to its friends in the hospitality industry by helping them get back to work, at-home.

The program will come to life through a range of virtual experiences, kicking off with a series of Bulleit Bourbon cocktail recipe demos with bartenders from across the country featuring their creative spin on drinks crafted from pantry staples, to encourage folks to get involved and share the cocktails that they’re mixing up from home with hashtags #TipsFromHome and #DiageoNation and the @Bulleit handle. Yesterday also marked National Gin & Tonic Day, and Tanqueray Gin celebrated with bartenders nationwide to craft their at-home version of the quintessential G&T!

Havaianas

As coronavirus cases and deaths continue to mount in Brazil, Havaianas & parent company Alpargatas have sprung to action, navigating how they can best help support their home country to help combat COVID-19. From supply and equipment donations for healthcare workers on the front lines and increased resources for low-income communities, the brands have developed a multi-pronged approach that benefits individuals that need it most.

The program encompasses the following:

  • Charitable Partnership: To help spread goodwill throughout the country, Alpargatas will donate 100,000 kits of essential product — including Havaianas, hygiene products and food — to the most vulnerable communities in Brazil. The goal is to expand the initiative and ignite a chain reaction ‘pay it forward’ model as more partners participate.
  • Public Health + Community Donations: Alpargatas has temporarily repurposed and adapted their factories to make protective equipment for healthcare professionals. The company has already begun production on masks, hand sanitizer, COVID-19 test kits, and more.
  • News Access for All: Additionally, recognizing the lack of resources and access to information in many low-income communities, Havaianas will donate sound system equipment to the Conexão Favela (Favela Connection) radio station in Rio de Janeiro to produce and announce official content about how to prevent COVID-19 in several communities.

Hu Products

This week, Hu Products announced a partnership with scrubs maker FIGS to deliver care packages of new scrubs and chocolates to over 100+ hospitals to thousands of workers across the US — now live here.

At Hu (short for Human), the ethos is all about helping people “get back to human” — from what we eat to how we act. Hu’s strong values include humanity and humility, and no one is embodying these values more than nurses, doctors and other medical professionals at this time. The humans behind the company understand this as they have loved ones on the front lines themselves.

To express gratitude and hopefully spark a little joy and relief for these medical professionals risking their lives every day, Hu will send 17,000 boxes of Hu products alongside FIGS 30,000 sets of scrubs being donated to their hospital network across the country. FIGS have also helped produce 5 million N95 masks and 2 million isolation gowns with the Frontline Responders Fund, which can be donated to directly, here.

The chocolates, made with unrefined, organic coconut sugar (so they can avoid the sugar crash), are a small token of appreciation and joy alongside the much-needed scrubs and medical supplies — but they’re meant to add an extra moment of humanity and respite, which we hope will go a long way during these long days and nights.

Buffalo Trace Distillery

With hand sanitizer-making kicking off last week, Buffalo Trace Distillery is making sanitizer for some of the world’s largest organizations in healthcare, government, military, retail, distribution, airline, pharmacy, and banking industries. To date, Buffalo Trace’s parent company, Sazerac has received requests for over five million bottles of sanitizer, which they are prepared to meet, and possibly more, across their distilling sites in North America.

The Vale Fox Distillery

The Vale Fox Distillery, a new craft producer in Hudson Valley, NY, has diverted all of their resources and efforts towards producing hand sanitizer in response to the Coronavirus crisis. Their e-commerce store will go live on their website this week where people can buy limited quantities of sanitizer without having to go out to a drug store or other crowded locale.

The Vale Fox Distillery is currently working to supply sanitizer to first responders and the supply chain supporting essential businesses. The sanitizer will be sold at cost plus 25 cents extra per oz, which will be donated to bars and restaurants and their employees. Of this new direction for the distillery, Founder and Managing Principal Eral Gokgol-Kline says: “Historically, distilleries have risen to the occasion in world crisis.

During WWII, most distilleries, repurposed to produce industrial strength alcohol that was used to make antifreeze, plastics, lacquer and medical supplies for use in the Southern Pacific. Most importantly, distilleries quickly began producing massive quantities of the vital and life-saving antibiotic — penicillin. It’s an honor to be part of this legacy and we are eager to do our part to contribute to our community in a meaningful and valuable way… We’re in this together!”

Volkswagen of America and Faurecia

The shift in supply chain utilization came about from an internal Volkswagen task force, created to identify ways of meaningfully impacting the fight against COVID-19. After initial outreach to suppliers and production partners, an opportunity was identified when Faurecia communicated the ability — and desire — to modify the company’s production lines.

Through rapid-fire operational discussions with Volkswagen, plus an initial order of 70,000 masks and 5,000 gowns, Faurecia was able to pivot its processes and begin production at one of its facilities in Mexico. The company has since been able to significantly ramp up production capacities and is now able to make an estimated 250K masks and 50K gowns per week.

“Volkswagen is proud to have partners like Faurecia willing to step outside their usual scope and drive something bigger,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “This joint effort is putting the ingenuity of VW and our supplier network on full display, and we don’t plan on stopping our response to this crisis here.”

Volkswagen has donated the first run of Faurecia-produced masks and gowns to New York State’s COVID-19 response efforts. The shipment of 75,000 units is scheduled to arrive this week and be distributed at area hospitals including New York City’s Javits Center, recently transformed by the US Army Corps of Engineers into a temporary hospital staffed by FEMA and Army medical personnel.

The work with Faurecia is the first of numerous initiatives currently under development between Volkswagen of America and its network of suppliers to enter the operational phase.

XO

In an effort to help New York City hospitals who are in need of medical supplies, XO will be utilizing all of its inbound New York City/tri-state area flights to transport medical equipment from cities across the country.

The team at XO asks that hospitals, medical partners and companies who are looking to transport supplies to New York, to contact them directly to inquire about the upcoming flights, by visiting: https://flyxo.com/support-hospitals/ or calling 1–888–803–5996. They will provide schedules for inbound NYC flights, and assist with all coordination.

BACARDI Rum

There has been a shift in production by Bacardi at the world’s largest premium rum distillery is helping supply ethanol required to produce the much needed hand sanitizers that are in high demand as a result of COVID-19. The Bacardi Corporation distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico, where more than 80% of the company’s rums are produced, has partnered with Puerto Rico based manufacturer Olein Refinery to provide raw materials that will enable the production of more than 1.7M units of 10-ounce hand sanitizer.

At 70% alcohol, these products are in line with the recommendations by the World Health Organization for containing the spread of the virus.

Over half a million of the 10-ounce hand sanitizer units produced in partnership with Bacardi will be donated to local communities. Earlier today, Bacardi began distribution of the free hand sanitizers, made with the ethanol provided by Bacardi distillery, along with disinfectants produced by Olein, to USPS workers, firefighters and police.

The company plans to expand distribution next week to non-profit organizations including Fondos Unidos (United Way). Bacardi employees and contractors also received the free product as the health and safety of people is always top of mind for the family-owned company.

Pernod Ricard USA

Absolut’s parent company Pernod Ricard USA is helping the fight against COVID-19 spread by retooling their production to bolster the supply of hand sanitizer at all of their manufacturing sites.

The effort is in coordination with federal officials, including Dr. Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing, who helped Pernod Ricard quickly navigate several regulatory hurdles and obtain the necessary approvals to produce American-made hand sanitizer. The brand is also partnering with government authorities for the distribution process across America.

Forest Remedies

Plant-based wellness brand, Forest Remedies, has committed to donating Full Spectrum Hemp Extract Soothing Balms to healthcare workers on the front lines across the country. In partnership with Donate Beauty, ForestRemedies is donating balms to help healthcare workers take care of themselves while so selflessly working to keep the public safe.

In addition to making donations of its Full Spectrum Hemp Extract Soothing Balms, ForestRemedies is also offering a 25% off promotion + free shipping for hemp products (massage oil, hemp extract soft gels, balms & tinctures, pet soother) with code ‘HOME’ to encourage everyone to stay safe and remain inside during the crisis.

Sparkling Ice

Sparkling Ice known for its colorful, bold initiatives, has launched a nationwide call-to-action to celebrate America’s everyday hometown heroes, through its Cheers to Heroes campaign, in partnership with the Honor Flight Network.

Consumers across the country can now nominate a hero in their life, who has made a difference while on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, for a chance for the hero to win $10,000. Whether your hero is a friend, colleague, peer, neighbor, nurse, grocery store worker, postman etc. — anyone is able to nominate a hero who they think deserves this honor.

Through this campaign, Sparkling Ice has pledged to donate $400,000 to unsung heroes across the country and over the next few months, will be creating surprise and delight moments for these everyday heroes. This initiative is an extension of the brand’s overall 2020 campaign “Flavor For All” — which celebrates inclusion and togetherness in communities across the country.

Cheers to Heroes nominations are now open through June 14, and can be submitted via the online submission form HERE.

Written by

Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought out journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food and more! Based out of NYC.

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