PEOPLE's 50 Companies That Care: Employers Who Have Gone Above & Beyond During the Pandemic
Partnering with Great Place to Work, PEOPLE identifies the top U.S. companies supporting their employees and their communities during COVID-19
Publix Super Markets
To assist the estimated 17 million Americans currently experiencing food insecurity, as well as the countless farmers struggling with decreased demand brought on by restaurant and school closures, the Lakeland, Florida-based supermarket chain launched a new initiative, purchasing fruits, vegetables and milk to donate to Feeding America member food banks. To date, Publix has repurposed more than 11 million pounds of produce and 500,000 gallons of milk.
"As a food retailer, feeding families is our greatest opportunity to give back, and we are grateful to be able to do so while supporting produce and dairy farmers," says CEO Todd Jones. "During such challenging times, we are even more committed to supporting those in need and doing good, together."
In addition, Publix Super Markets Charities has made $5 million in monetary donations to over 30 food banks and 200 organizations across the Southeast, with the goal of providing essential supplies to those hit hardest by the pandemic.
In the photo: On April 25, Feeding Tampa Bay and Publix served nearly 3,000 families from Pinellas and Hillsborough counties in Florida.
A Companies that Care all-star, this San Francisco-based tech firm has made a major commitment to the well-being and mental health of its employees and their families with Thriving Mind, a global benefit program that helps people understand why they respond to anxiety the way they do, providing them with actionable strategies to manage stress.
Since the global health crisis, Salesforce has launched B-Well Together, an online series available to the company's customers, partners and their families, featuring advice and resources from wellness experts such as Deepak Chopra and Jack Kornfield.
And Salesforce's commitment to helping in these uncertain times extends well beyond their ranks: To date, the company has delivered personal protective equipment to more than 200 healthcare facilities across 10 states, sourced more than 50 million units of PPE for hospitals in the U.S., U.K., France and India, and donated more than $7.5 million in grants to frontline organizations.
In the photo: Salesforce employees deliver PPE supplies to local hospitals.
The San Jose-based tech giant has committed $227 million to global COVID-19 response, including contributions to the #FirstRespondersFirst initiative, created to provide frontline workers free childcare and other resources so they can continue performing their essential duties.
"It saved my world," says Detroit area first responder Angel Marino of the childcare centers, which are staffed trained early educators and adhere to strict safety protocols. "I probably would have lost my job [without childcare], and I fought too hard to get here to have that happen."
And since Cisco is, at its core, built on innovation, crisis response has also included tech-driven solutions to problems caused by social distancing. One initiative, Deleting Loneliness, provides quarantined nursing home residents the opportunity to videoconference with family and friends.
In the photo: A child plays at Cisco's LifeConnections Center.
As coronavirus sparked an economic downturn and mass layoffs across the country, the Santa Clara, California-based AI company NVIDIA took a different approach: a pledge to avoid layoffs and accelerated scheduled salary increases to put extra money in employees' hands when it was most needed.
"Prioritize your family. Our work will wait," NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang wrote to all employees. "We are going to get through this together. And if you need us, we're here."
In the past months, NVIDIA Inception, the company's startup accelerator, has lent AI expertise, computing resources and funding to 160 startups supporting COVID-19 relief, including CT scan analysis, no-contact body temperature measurement, molecular compound discovery and ultraviolet disinfection robots. NVIDIA chief scientist Bill Dally recently released an open-source design for an easy-to-assemble mechanical ventilator that is 50x cheaper than traditional models.
In the photo: NVIDIA chief scientist Bill Dally builds the first prototype of his low-cost open-source ventilator in his home workshop.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
At its 103 locations across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, Wegmans has made cleanliness and safety for its customers and 50,000 employees a priority. The food market chain has installed handwashing sinks, plastic shields and other safeguards, while doubling sanitizer stations throughout all stores and main office locations. At-risk employees have also been given the option of removing themselves from the workplace with job-protected voluntary leave.
Understanding that many Americans are struggling with unemployment, Wegmans has also partnered with Great Place to Work to offer job opportunities to those furloughed by other companies.
"We would be honored if you would consider partnering with us to help your displaced workers find employment with our family," wrote president and CEO Colleen Wegman and senior VP of human resources Kevin Stickles in a letter. "You can rest assured your employees would be welcomed to our company with care and respect […] And after we all get through this, we know our respective companies will learn from each other."
In the photo: A Wegmans employee uses a newly installed handwashing station.
BayCare Health System
During the COVID-19 crisis, the health care provider serving West Central Florida has lived its mission of "improving the health of all we serve," leading the charge in establishing and sustaining regional testing access.
Beginning at seven sites on March 18, BayCare set up makeshift facilities in parking lots to offer testing to anyone who wanted it. Seven weeks into the work, BayCare's drive-up sites had screened 16,000 individuals and provided test services for more than 11,000 others. By late April, BayCare had moved 100% of test processing onsite, significantly decreasing wait times for results.
For nurse Julia James, stepping into this critical testing role gave her new purpose and resolve in an uncertain time. "Even though we don't know what the outcome is going to be, we're doing our part," says James. "It's a really good feeling to know we're serving people."
In the photo: BayCare Health team members perform COVID swab tests at a drive-thru testing site.
In times of crisis, communication is key, which is why the Philadelphia-headquartered telecom giant has gone the extra mile to keep people connected during coronavirus. Comcast NBCUniversal's efforts include providing free internet and phone services to mobile hospital tents and limited-time offers of complimentary internet services for low-income families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.
To keep company morale high during the extended period of remote work, the company turned its annual "Take Our Kids to Work Day" into a virtual event, featuring special activities, from "How to be a kid reporter," hosted by TODAY's Al Roker, to family-friendly workouts, featuring American Ninja Warrior Jr.'s Akbar Gbajabiamila and NBC Sports' Liam McHugh.
In the photo: Students of Northeast High School in Philadelphia are given tablets on Aug. 27 to help overcome the challenges of distance learning. Comcast recently announced the Internet Essentials Partnership Program to enable cities, school districts and community-based organizations to connect to the internet.
This consumer financial services company headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, has reacted to evolving health crisis by prioritizing employees, customers and community, making strategic investments to keep them safe, secure and well.
Recently, Synchrony committed to donate $1 to World Central Kitchen every time a partner credit card is used for qualifying purchases at local restaurants, up to a maximum donation of $1 million. World Central Kitchen, a not-for-profit organization founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, provides meals in the wake of natural disasters.
Synchrony has also encouraged its 140,000 small- to medium-sized sewing business partners to produce protective masks, gowns and gloves, offering them a statement credit for purchasing materials and donating their homemade PPE locally.
In the photo: Designed to offer an interactive and structured summer experience for children of employees, Synchrony Summer Camp featured fun and educational activities delivered live and on-demand.
Bank of America Corporation
In an effort to support coronavirus-affected communities, particularly underserved populations, Bank of America—one of the world's largest financial institutions—announced a $100 million philanthropic commitment (in addition to its annual $250 million giving allotment) to tackle food insecurity, medical response and access to education.
To address widespread school closures, BOA expanded its partnership with Khan Academy, a nonprofit devoted to personalized online education, to help them scale their operations to meet the increased demand for remote learning.
"Khan Academy was an emergent need," explains Anne Finucane, vice chairman of Bank of America. "In a case like this, as they're reaching out to schools all over the country and helping teachers and [parents], they needed money today. Less paperwork, more haste."
To encourage its 208,000 BOA teammates to further this philanthropic mission, the company has also lowered its matching gift minimum from $25 to $1. Through this matching gift program, BOA mirrors employee donations to COVID-19 charities, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000 per calendar year.
In the photo: Bank of America is taking wide-ranging steps to ensure the health and safety of teammates and clients.
American Express may be multinational, but the New York City-headquartered financial services corporation still looks out for the little guy. By establishing Stand for Small—a coalition of more than 40 companies providing meaningful support to small business as they navigate the economic downturn—Amex has helped provide support through services, tools and expertise, all available on a digital platform.
Amex has also increased its commitment to diversity, inclusion and support for minority groups, with recent dual $250,000 donations—one to the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund, which helps provide financial, employment and food assistance to African American communities, and one to the Hispanic Federation's efforts to support essential workers and provide food in the Latino community.
The company has also recently joined 10 organizational partners and 90 companies to support the #AscendTogether Action Agenda, which seeks to combat the anti-Asian stigma brought on in the wake of the pandemic.
In the photo: American Express established Stand for Small, a coalition to support small businesses as they navigate the impacts of COVID-19.
Customers who have visited one of the 605 locations in the mid-Atlantic, South, Ohio and Pennsylvania, know that this 24-hour convenience retailer is good for everything from gas to coffee to a quick bite. But in the past months, Sheetz has shown how important a proper fuel up can be.
With schools dismissing due to the pandemic, Sheetz management knew that more children would go without nutritious meals. They launched the Kidz Meal Bagz Program, doling out free meals—a turkey sandwich, chips and a drink—to children at all locations. To date, more than 346,000 meals have been provided, the equivalent of $1.5 million in contributions.
Reaction on social media has been enthusiastic. Wrote one appreciative customer: "This is awesome, Sheetz. Thanks for looking after the kids. I'm guessing many will simply think they're getting a treat from Sheetz, not realizing money is tight. The emotional boost for them and their parents makes it even better than [just] free food."
In the photo: An employee shows off his Sheetz T-shirt.
One of the largest retailers in the United States, Target is committed to protecting the health and safety of every customer and employee. Efforts include rigorous cleaning routines and regular updates on the latest CDC guidelines, as well as dedicated shopping hours for frontline workers and fully paid leave up to 30 days for team members who are 65 or older, have underlying medical conditions or are pregnant.
Brian Cornell, Target's CEO, also announced an investment of more than $300 million in added wages, bonus payouts and relief fund contributions.
"With each passing day, it's clearer how indispensable our team is to communities across the country as our guests cope with the coronavirus," says Cornell. "Increasing their compensation for a job incredibly well done and ensuring continued compensation for those who need to care for themselves and their families is a reflection of our company's values and simply the right thing to do."
In the photo: A staffer sanitizes baskets in preparation for a Las Vegas Target's grand opening.
When the pandemic hit, Ultimate Software was completing a merger with Kronos Incorporated, forming one of the world's largest cloud companies. A stressful time to combine operations? Sure. But also a useful reminder that, in times of uncertainty, transparency and cooperation are vital.
To keep the lines of communication open, all Ultimate employees receive weekly morale-boosting "aron@work" videos, with updates from CEO Aron Ain and his dog Sammy. In the videos, Ain has stressed to team members the importance of caring for themselves and others, encouraging them to take advantage of unlimited paid time off to recharge and be with family.
And Ultimate team members are paying that generosity forward, using sewing machines and 3D printers to create masks and face shields to donate. Working with local businesses, employees also delivered more than 5,000 meals to frontline workers and first responders in South Florida, New York and Toronto.
In the photo: An Ultimate Software employee sews masks to be donated.
Alston & Bird
Alston & Bird, an international law firm based in Atlanta, recognized early on the toll a pandemic could take on mental well-being, so management took concrete steps to safeguard employees' psychological health—launching a parent support group facilitated by a licensed psychologist and hosting firmwide virtual sessions with resilience coaches to manage anxiety.
Said one employee of the recurring A&BMindfulness session: "Thank you all so much for this. It was wonderful and just what is needed. For those of us living alone, it is helpful to have things we do, think and practice validated! I feel exhausted, but I think it is the release of tension and sense of well-being!"
Following the difficult decision to close its onsite daycare, Alston & Bird shifted the program to virtual learning activities and covered the cost of tuition during closure. In appreciation, the parents raised more than $17,000 to support the teachers and staff.
In the photo: Austin Charles, an Alston & Bird attorney and certified meditation and yoga instructor, leads an A&BMindfulnessMonday session.
For Horizon Therapeutics CEO Tim Walbert, supporting his employees and the global community with empathy and compassion is a decidedly personal pursuit. Walbert lives with several autoimmune diseases and is immunocompromised, so he intimately understands what's at stake in a global health crisis.
In this spirit of empathy, Walbert has encouraged all employees at the Chicago-headquartered biopharmaceutical company to take an annual "Make it Personal Day" to undertake meaningful projects.
Jose Suarez, Horizon territory manager in North Carolina, used his Make It Personal Day to help with the manufacturing and packaging of nearly 9,000 sterile medical face masks to support medical professionals. "Now is the time to band together and rise," says Suarez. "There is still strength in socially-distanced numbers."
In the photo: Horizon account managers deliver groceries to dialysis patients on their "Make it Personal Day."
When the coronavirus pandemic closed schools across the country, employees of CarMax, a nationwide retailer of used cars, were offered paid leaves to help with their children's adjustment to at-home learning.
"I'm a single mother," says staffer Shaniqua Pervall of Atlanta. "I had no idea what I'd do and was beyond relieved. It gave me peace of mind while supporting my family financially."
CarMax employees across the country also helped others out. An associate in California drove a car more than 100 miles to a soldier unable to leave his base, and staffers found and collected masks at various CarMax locations, delivering more than 2,400 to healthcare workers on the front lines in California and Texas.
In the photo: Husband and wife team Ray and Monica Kidder, both general managers at California CarMax locations, proudly deliver a vehicle to a customer during the pandemic.
Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida is a regional healthcare organization with 11 hospitals and more than 100 outpatient and urgent care facilities and physician practices.
Baptist Health started an Emergency Childcare Program for staffers with children whose schools and daycare programs closed during the coronavirus shutdown, with all-day learning opportunities. The company also created an array of emotional support options for employees on the frontlines, including hotlines and counseling services available 24/7.
"Our top priority is to protect the safety and health of all our employees, so they can care for our patients and community," says president and CEO Brian E. Keeley. "Working as a team, we will get through this and remain strong."
In the photo: Baptist Health South Florida team members send uplifting messages as part of the #PineappleProud and #PineappleStrong campaigns.
Radio Flyer Inc.
Employees at beloved red wagon company Radio Flyer appreciated their new perk of an additional 20 paid days off to help with challenges of the pandemic.
"I was completely lost in the beginning of daycare closures, as I didn't know how I was going to manage care for my daughter and continue to work," says staffer and new mother Jessica Fechner. "This benefit allowed me to take care of my daughter, while working a reduced schedule—ensuring I didn't miss a paycheck."
Employees also give back to the community with two paid days to volunteer through Radio Flyer's Smile Squad Committee. This year, the company's partnership with Cradles to Crayons resulted in the donation of 1,000 wagons and trikes to families in the Chicago area.
In the photo: Radio Flyer team members strike a pose outside of their Chicago headquarters on August 27.
OhioHealth—a not-for-profit, faith-based charitable healthcare organization based in Columbus and spanning 47 counties—has offered its 35,000 employees full pay for those who must quarantine, free childcare and hotel rooms for medical workers on the front lines and an Emergency Assistance Fund for those facing financial hardships.
To help these healthcare workers' physical and mental well-being, OhioHealth offers virtual support services including free counseling and stress management to enhance resilience.
"OhioHealth has been a godsend through all of this," says Kara, a nurse. "They are supporting us, they're paying us and they're doing their best to fight this."
In the photo: Some of the 35,000 "superheroes" employed by OhioHealth.
NerdWallet, a San Francisco-based consumer finance website and app, is working to alleviate staffers' stress levels, including the implementation of flex schedules. On Do Not Disturb Wednesdays, staffers (a.k.a. Nerds) don't have to answer emails— or even work. Within a few days of San Francisco's work from home order in March, each staffer was given $500 to help with the set up a more functional home office.
In turn, staffers continue to give back to their community through NerdsPayItForward, an employee-led corporate social responsibility program whose contributions are matched 100% by NerdWallet. Favorite charities include Project Homeless Connect, St. Anthony's, the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. and Meals on Wheels.
In the photo: NerdWallet management has been completely supportive of team members with children, encouraging them to take all the time they need to support their families.
MSU Federal Credit Union
MSU Federal Credit Union, located in East Lansing, Michigan, understands that COVID-19 has left many of its customers suddenly facing financial uncertainty and in need of compassion and flexibility. Since the health crisis began, MSUFCU has processed 367 member assistance loans, 3,451 skip-a-pays on existing loans and 5,852 deferments.
Says one employee, "I'm extremely proud to work for an organization with strong moral values and even more proud of our employees'/co-workers' ability to adapt almost seamlessly to the changing climate to serve our members."
MSUFCU also recently launched the #MSUFCUEatsLocal Giveaway, a social media program to support local businesses and inspire people to pay kindness forward. The promotion encourages credit union members and employees to order and take photos of their food delivery or takeout for a chance to win a $25 gift card, plus another to give to someone else. One member and employee are selected at random each day.
In the photo: Branch employees Tara Malcuit, Tiffany Ferguson and Tara Harvey prepare to greet and serve members at the MSUFCU headquarters building while following social distancing guidelines.
The founding principle of this software company based in Cary, North Carolina, is simple: If you treat employees like they make a difference, they will. For SAS CEO Jim Goodnight and his 14,000 global team members, the current health crisis has proven the theory.
In addition to sewing hundreds of masks and 3D printing face shields for MaskforDocs, SAS employees have helped use analytics to track, monitor and predict the spread of coronavirus more accurately. Partnering with the Cleveland Clinic to share predictive models to help hospitals plan for current and future needs, SAS was able to help provide actionable insight into demands on the healthcare industry, from ICU beds to PPE to ventilators.
"Today marks my 20th year here," said one employee, "and I've never felt so proud or blessed to be a part of SAS as I do right now."
In the photo: SAS team members prepare to ship homemade PPE around the globe.
During the pandemic, the department store chain—headquartered in Burlington Township, New Jersey, with 631 locations across the country—has partnered with Delivering Good, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to donating merchandise to help people affected by poverty and disasters. Together, Burlington Stores and Delivering Good have distributed more than 170,000 items—from scrubs to protective footwear to baby products—valued at more than $2.75 million.
Additionally, to offset the hardships caused by furloughs and salary reductions, the Burlington Associate Assistance Fund has distributed more than $5 million in grants to 22,000 employees.
"Thank you everyone that contributes to such a valuable program," says Darron, a Burlington Stores associate. "Thank you, Burlington, for establishing this fund to support our families."
In the photo: Burlington associates show off some of the increased safety measures in their store.
Camden Property Trust
Camden Property Trust, a Houston, Texas-based real estate investment trust company, realized that delayed stimulus payments and assurances of future relief weren't helping their customers pay their bills. Recognizing an opportunity to assist their community, Camden donated $5 million to create the Camden Resident Relief Fund, which within a week put up to $2,000 in the hands of families who needed it the most—2,367 people in total.
With $460,000 remaining in the fund, Camden reopened the portal to a flood of additional applicants. Moved by such dire financial need, the company increased its initial donation—to $10.4 million—allowing 5,819 residents to receive grants of $1,000 each.
In the photo: Team members at Camden North Quarter in Orlando, Florida, deliver homemade treat bags.
The healthcare software company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is working diligently to foster togetherness even in this time of distance and remote work, sending care packages to employees, offering self-care days and bringing people together through activities, from digital scavenger hunts to digital happy hours. Employees are also encouraged to participate in a variety of events hosted by employee resource groups, such as Rainbow Talks—presentations focused on LGBTQ+ topics.
CoverMyMeds has also supported grassroots efforts led by employees, including a unique entertainment event in April called the "Stay at Home Showcase." The livestreamed, at-home concert featured the performances by more than a dozen employees and raised money for YWCA chapters across the community. Inspired by the creativity and generosity of our people, CoverMyMeds matched the amount of each donation for an even greater impact.
In the photo: CoverMyMeds employees volunteer at a community garden in Columbus, Ohio's Franklinton neighborhood.
Micron Technology, Inc.
Micron Technology, a global producer of computer memory and computer data storage based in Boise, Idaho, stepped up to give when the pandemic struck, committing $35 million to help staffers as well as communities around the world. All U.S. workers earning less than $100,000 a year received $1,000, a payment given to more than 68 percent of employees worldwide. For staffers facing financial hardships, it provided grants of up to $5,000.
Micron's new $10 million Micron Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund distributed grants to nonprofits feeding the hungry in Idaho, California, Utah, India, Malaysia and Germany.
Additionally, the company increased its match of employee donations, of up to $10,000 per person, to double the effect of these contributions, with at least $10 million donated to help others so far this year.
In the photo: Micron volunteers help distribute food boxes to underprivileged families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One way that Adobe, the computer software company responsible for Photoshop and Acrobat, has helped employees' pandemic well-being is with its Work From Home Expense Fund, providing $500 to each staffer to create comfortable at-home workspaces.
Other employee perks during this unprecedented time include virtual well-being seminars, 24/7 counseling services and apps for meditation and personal health coaching.
Adobe also recently introduced #HonorHeroes, a digital collaboration with artists and creatives, who released original work inspired by the heroic efforts of frontline workers.
In the photo: An Adobe associate sews homemade masks for donation.
Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
Cadence, a San Jose, California-based electronics design company, continued to pay all of its employees and contractors through the pandemic shutdown while providing a stipend for additional work-from -home expenses and additional support for child and elder-care needs.
Staffers volunteered to use 3D printing to create 100 mask straps for medical workers, organized a local food donation drive and earned a $250 donation to their favorite charity by sharing how they are giving back.
Cadence also purchased 10,000 masks for hospitals on the frontlines across the country and doubled its employee match donation to $2,000 to increase the impact of giving.
In the photo: Carol Hoffman, Cadence's program management director, brought together volunteers to deliver hot lunches to senior citizens in the Campbell-San Jose area.
PwC —a global company providing audit, tax and consulting services to businesses—prioritized safeguarding jobs during the shutdown. As PwC chairman Tim Ryan wrote on LinkedIn: "We recognize that if we attempt to protect our profits this year by sacrificing our people, we may lose out both in the short and long run."
The PwC Charitable Foundation's People Who Care Fund assists staffers and their family members who may be experiencing emergency financial hardship. PwC is also supporting their people with up to $2,000 in emergency child and elder care.
And the PwC Charitable Foundation has helped communities hard hit by the shutdown with over $4 million in donations, including support of at-home learning for underserved students. PwC gave $500,000 to Feeding America to distribute emergency food boxes, and another $500,000 toward the delivery of N95 masks and ventilators to healthcare workers in all 50 states.
In the photo: PwCers harvested 5,600 lbs. of zucchini, yellow squash and patty pan squash from the San Antonio Food Bank's urban farm. The vegetables were used to make 61,000 meals.
Custom Ink is a Fairfax, Virginia-based seller of custom T-shirts and accessories for companies, charities, clubs and special occasions.
On March 27, the company had to furlough three-quarters of its staffers, but continued paying for their health care coverage, provided 40 hours of sick time for part-timers and shipped care packages directly to employees' doorsteps. Custom Ink also offered staffers interest-free advances of up to $1,000.
The company's mantra became "bring our team back," and Custom Ink shifted course to do so, creating and producing thousands of masks and custom T-shirts for fundraisers created by frontline workers and animal shelters. By May, hundreds of staffers had returned to work.
"Companies like Custom Ink are going to need to step up and help get the world going again," says CEO Marc Katz . "This crisis is highlighting the importance and potential in what we do and how we do it, and if we stay strong, we can really make a difference."
In the photo: "On Wednesdays We Wear Ink" is a weekly virtual gathering for Custom Ink team members to sport their custom gear and stay connected.
In March, Dow, the multinational materials science company based in Midland, Michigan, stepped up to meet critical shortages due to COVID-19. The company developed a simplified design for face shields, laser-cutting and donating 100,000 to frontline healthcare workers in Michigan hospitals.
And while Dow does not typically produce hand sanitizer, it repurposed five manufacturing facilities around the world—including in Michigan and West Virginia—to produce and package the equivalent of more than 2 million 8-ounce bottles that were donated to health systems and government agencies.
Thirty percent of Dow employees are required to regularly report to work sites; to recognize these efforts, Dow paid them a $1,000 bonus.
"What makes me most proud is that even in these uncertain economic times, Dow has made financial commitments to help the communities we live and work in," says a staffer.
In the photo: Dow employees prepare hand sanitizer for donation.
Quicken Loans, a large mortgage lender based in Detroit, has regularly pitched in on the front lines of COVID-19 response.
Company staffers worked with the city of Detroit in March to build a drive-through coronavirus testing site in days, which has served more than 800 people daily.
The Quicken Loans Community Fund purchased machinery to help produce more than 500,000 N95 masks a week and donated $5 million to local nonprofits to help Detroit residents impacted by the pandemic.
And to aid home-schooled children who lack access to computers and internet connections, Quicken Loans joined with several other local organizations to provide 51,000 Detroit students a computer tablet with high-speed connectivity.
In the photo: A drive-thru testing site at the Michigan State Fairgrounds, built with assistance by Quicken Loans.
Lawyers with Cooley LLP—a global law firm based in Palo Alto, California—have donated many hours of pro bono work to help secure the release of medically compromised detained immigrants and their children in facilities where COVID-19 is spreading.
The firm also provides free legal aid to elderly and chronically ill federal prisoners, files requests for compassionate release and helps tenants unable to pay rent due to loss of income from the pandemic shutdown.
"We are here to help our clients in these trying times," said Joe Conroy, Cooley's chairman and CEO. "We take to heart our profound and enduring commitment to the health and well-being of all of our people, our clients and our communities around the world."
In the photo: Cooley LLP salutes frontline workers in Hoboken, New Jersey.
USAA, which offers insurance, banking and investments products to current and former members of the U.S. military and their families, has provided its employees up to three weeks of emergency pay for any COVID-19 related illness or childcare issues.
USAA and The USAA Foundation, Inc. have donated more than $5.5 million for COVID-19 relief efforts, and the foundation committed $1 million to the San Antonio Food Bank. Additionally, the company refunded $800 million to members with auto insurance policies and waived all out-of-pocket expenses for coronavirus testing, diagnosis and prescribed medication.
In the photo: USAA serves military families to meet their financial needs during the global pandemic.
Nationwide, a Columbus, Ohio-based insurance and financial services organization, offers staffers an additional four weeks of fully paid time off if they or loved ones are impacted by COVID-19 illness.
Employees are also given tips for coping with emotional stress, anxiety and fear through Mindfulness Monday and Wellness Wednesday webcasts, where medical experts share tips.
The Nationwide Foundation disbursed $2 million in Community Response grants to 11 organizations helping with pandemic relief effort. "Words can't adequately express our gratitude," says one grantee. "Thank you for helping us live out our mission during these incredibly challenging times."
In the photo: Nationwide's shares a message of encouragement in the windows of their headquarters in Columbus.
Hilton, a world-wide hotel and resort company, partnered with American Express to donate up to one million hotel room nights across the U.S. to frontline medical workers who need to sleep, recharge and isolate from their families. Since April, hundreds of thousands of room nights have been used by doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other medical professionals.
In May, with a $1 million contribution from American Express to World Central Kitchen, healthy, fresh meals have been provided to healthcare workers staying at participating Hilton properties.
Meanwhile, the company helped its many staffers who lost work due to a worldwide downturn in travel by connecting them with employment at other companies, including Albertsons, Amazon, CVS, Lidl, Wegmans and Walgreens.
In the photo: Hilton, American Express and World Central Kitchen partner to support frontline healthcare workers with daily meals.
Due to the significant increase of pet adoptions during the pandemic, the Mars pet food brand Royal Canin created an educational program called Catology to help guide first-time foster parents of kittens and cats. The first 1,000 people who joined received free food for a month.
"Our goal is to equip people with all of the tools and resources needed to have a successful experience, and hopefully turn many from fosters to forever homes," says Tony Wild, Director of Cat Acceleration at Royal Canin.
Additionally, Mars made a commitment in April to donate $20 million to support people, pets and communities most affected by COVID-19, including a $5 million donation to support CARE's work in developing countries and a $1 million donation to Humane Society International to help homeless cats and dogs.
In the photo: Another Mars brand, American Heritage Chocolate, has partnered with the nonprofit First Book to support housebound students.
The Goldman Sachs Group
Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, offers staffers an additional 10 days of paid family leave due to a COVID-19-related illness or family care needs.
Employees give back through a virtual version of Goldman Sachs' Community TeamWorks. They've launched over 100 volunteer projects that offer emergency coaching to small businesses, tutoring to homebound students, support to medical workers on the frontlines and assistance to isolated seniors.
And in India, two staffers built an online platform, CovidSOS, that in its first month connected more than 1,000 volunteers in more than 25 cities with at-risk people who need grocery and medical supply deliveries.
In the photo: Goldman Sachs managing director Fred Hsu mobilized coworkers to fund the mass production of 30,000 face shields for local hospitals in Jersey City.
W. L. Gore & Associates
W.L. Gore & Associates, the manufacturing company behind GORE-TEX fabrics and medical implants, gave staffers with children eight weeks of additional paid leave when schools closed due to the pandemic.
To help combat the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) among health care workers, the company engineered reusable mask covers made of a material providing more than 99 percent protection from coronavirus particles, donating the items to facilities in Covid-19 hotspots.
W.L. Gore also donated 100,000 meters of fabric to manufacturers that was converted into protective gowns for medical centers and areas of urgent need, including Native American reservations near its Flagstaff, Arizona plant.
"We are determined to help our communities however we can, using all the tools and expertise at our disposal," says CEO Jason Field.
In the photo: W. L. Gore & Associates team member Mike Johnson works with the core material used in several PPE solutions.
KPMG LLP, a New York-based company providing audit, tax and advisory services to businesses, made giving back to communities hard hit by COVID-19 a priority.
The firm and its KPMG U.S. Foundation donated over $2 million to nonprofits devoted to providing personal protective equipment to frontline healthcare workers and meals to isolated seniors across the country.
In addition, KPMG's Family for Literacy (KFFL) is collaborating with First Book to get six million books to students in low-income school districts, so homebound children and teens can keep up with their studies.
KPMG also expanded its paid leave policy to help staffers with issues related to COVID-19, if they or a family member became sick from the novel coronavirus.
In the photo: KPMG employees work together while social distancing to pack books to be distributed to children.
Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott, which operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts worldwide, has provided $10 million worth of free hotel stays for frontline medical workers in coronavirus hotspots across the country.
This Rooms for Responders initiative collaborated with the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association to provide free accommodations at participating hotels in New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Newark and Washington, D.C.
Additionally, Marriott's Community Caregiver Program, available in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, provides significantly discounted rates for first responders and healthcare professionals who want to stay near the hospitals where they're working.
In the photo: Marriott team members participate in Habitat for Humanity's Women Build initiative, tackling renovations and new homes for low-income families.
Ernst & Young LLP
Ernst & Young—a global provider of assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services—created a College MAP (Mentoring for Access and Persistence) Just in Time Grant Fund to help prepare underserved students in 11th and 12th grades for college.
When the pandemic hit, grants were used to help cover necessities for these students, including food, shelter and online connectivity.
"My mother is a home health aide and an essential worker, but the money she earns is not enough to support the five of us," says one grant recipient. "Our food is being consumed too quickly and we can't afford to replenish. With this grant, we will have food security for the time being."
In the photo: Orange County-based staffer Anh Dinh is leading her Vietnamese community, interspersed throughout the U.S., in sewing hundreds of fabric masks to donate to hospitals, nursing homes, rehab facilities and fire departments.
Burns & McDonnell
When work shifted to home living rooms and studies, Burns & McDonnell, a Kansas City, Missouri-based engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting company, created the "One Burns & McDonnell" virtual community, where staffers can share photos of their home office setups, tips on working from home and engage on a regular basis.
Employees with children can turn to the Parent Portal, another virtual space to talk about activities to keep kids engaged, entertained and educated as moms or dads juggle the challenges of working from home and leading remote learning.
Additionally, the Burns & McDonnell Foundation donated $1.5 million to the United Way COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund.
"Our employee-owner's desire to give back and empower others is the heartbeat of our firm and the Burns & McDonnell Foundation," says CEO Ray Kowalik "During this pandemic, we are committed to protecting and supporting the most vulnerable in our communities."
In the photo: Burns & McDonnell employees have supported nearly 10,000 critical infrastructure projects throughout the pandemic, including Delta Airlines' terminal redevelopment program at LaGuardia Airport in New York City.
Employees at Fast Enterprises, a Centennial, Colorado-based software developer for government agencies, have received expanded paid time off for school or daycare closures, quarantine, or personal or family illness since the pandemic hit.
FASTies (as staffers are called) around the country also give back. Their Utah team completed a one-day food donation drive to raise $4,200 for a local food bank, while staffers in Colorado raised $3,000 to purchase school supplies and food for local families in need. And a company-wide "FASTies in the Fight Against Corona" raised over $197,025 in 30 days to benefit the CDC Foundation.
In the photo: FASTies spend time volunteering with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Hyatt, a hospitality chain with hotels located around the world, is helping financially-strapped staffers through difficult times that have deeply impacted the travel industry.
Through salary reductions of executives and donations from some hotel owners, the Hyatt Hotels Foundation and other donors funded the new Hyatt Care Fund. Thousands of employees around the world have reached out to the fund for help, and those who are currently not working and are ineligible for government assistance have been prioritized to receive money for rent, utility payments, food and medical assistance.
Additionally, individual Hyatt hotels are finding unique ways help their communities, such as Hotel Revival in Baltimore, which opened its kitchen to chefs whose restaurants closed, enabling them to operate a carry-out business. The hotel is also providing free accommodations to healthcare workers and first responders.
In the photo: In response to the pandemic, Hyatt launched its Global Care and Cleanliness Commitment, designed with the safety of employees and guests in mind.
Atlassian—a San Francisco-based software company that works with millions of users around the world—encouraged all remote staffers to get away from their laptops through their Walk This Way challenge. Teams of four competed, with over 600 employees recording 77 million steps in total.
To Verity Bell, global events leads on Atlassian's workplace experience team, fostering this type of work-life balance is a "showcase of values. This is a brilliant reminder to me that it's not just lip service," she says.
Atlassian also encouraged a fun way for employees to team up and give. Through "Atlas-Bid," staffers bid on experiences and products Atlassian purchased from over 140 small businesses. The Atlassian Foundation matched the bids and over $60,000 was raised.
In the photo: Atlassian encourages its team members to sit back, relax and enjoy some music with a streaming set from Sydney-based DJ Wildflower.
When the pandemic hit, O.C. Tanner, which develops employee recognition strategies and rewards programs for companies, adapted equipment, retrained staff and made thousands of much-needed reusable face shields and other PPE for frontline medical workers. The Salt Lake City-based company then donated the gear to local hospitals and hotspot areas like New York City.
"We never contemplated any option but giving these items away," says CEO Dave Petersen. "We have never asked, 'What are we going to charge?' Our conversations have all been about who needs them the most, how many will they need, and how can we help?"
In the photo: Dr. Matthew Sperry wears one of the first O.C. Tanner face shields.
At AbbVie Inc., a global research and development-based biopharmaceutical company based in North Chicago, employees with relevant medical, pharmaceutical and public health experience have volunteered to help where there is a need during the pandemic crisis. AbbVie continues pay them with full salary and benefits during their service, and their jobs will be waiting for them when their service is complete.
"AbbVie's extraordinary and swift support means that health workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. will have more resources to save lives in the fight against this dangerous disease," said Nancy Aossey, president and CEO of the humanitarian nonprofit International Medical Corps. "I'd like to thank AbbVie for always standing with us."
In the photo: At AbbVie, hundreds of scientists and researchers ensure the science of today stays on track, making possible the medicines of tomorrow.
Accenture, a global professional services company, values helping its 500,000-plus staffers deal with the increased stress that the COVID-19 pandemic may cause.
The company rolled out Thriving Mind, a holistic mental well-being program developed in partnership with Thrive Global and research from Stanford Medicine. The e-learning course uses evidence-based tools and actionable steps to help employees improve their brain's resilience and mental well-being.
"I'm really glad Accenture is talking about this," says one staffer, "and making it a priority for us! It's so, so important, even in times without pandemics!"
In the photo: Accenture managing director Chloe Barzey pauses during her workday to check in on her son's virtual school progress. The company tells PEOPLE it has enabled about 95% of its employees to work from home, offers expanded back-up dependent care/crisis-care reimbursement and this month begins school-day supervision programs for students participating in distance-learning curriculums in their local school system.
Pinnacle Financial Partners
Pinnacle Financial Partners, a Nashville-based financial services and insurance company, prides itself on how its staffers stepped up to help clients when the pandemic hit.
Elderly clients were called to see if they needed anything, leading an employee to hand-deliver toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant to a self-isolated client. Other team members handed out fun activities—bubbles, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes—after schools and daycares closed. Another bought "Here for Good" T-shirts from a local printer that was donating half its proceeds to local non-profit organizations and local businesses, helping to keep the community and the printer afloat.
In the photo: Pinnacle associates in Virginia prepare to greet clients in the drive-thru on Happy Emoji Day.
- Bernadette Peters Recycled a Bob Mackie Gown She Wore in the '80s for 74th Tony Awards
- Mel C Says 'All the Spice Girls Are So Excited' for Her to Be Competing on Season 30 of DWTS
- Brooks & Dunn Talk About Getting Back on Stage for Their REBOOT Tour: 'It Doesn't Really Leave You'
- Vanessa Lachey Reveals the 'Most Supportive Thing' Nick Said After She Landed NCIS: Hawai'i Role