The Lego Foundation – © UNICEF/Ethiopia/J. Ose
In the age of the coronavirus, participating in goodwill ventures is no longer just the right thing to do; it’s a standard business practice. Companies and corporations that step up and show their support as global citizens have the opportunity to help those who need it most, and deepen their engagement with modern consumers. They challenge the status quo by filling in the gaps where they are needed and allow for the careful consideration of communities that need more help than they have access to. Here are 5 corporations that are leading and inspiring global change around the world.
The Lego Foundation
The Lego Foundation, a strategic partner of Education Cannot Wait, recently announced US$15 million in funding for ECW’s education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lego Foundation is the largest private sector donor to the Education Cannot Wait global fund for education in emergencies, with US$27.5 million in contributions to date.
John Goodwin, CEO of the Lego Foundation, announced the contribution via video message, which aired during the One World: Together At Home global broadcast special. “We must support all children, including the most vulnerable children in refugee settings, to ensure they continue to have access to education and develop skills critical for them to thrive in a constantly changing world. We are honored to collaborate and support Education Cannot Wait and our other partners who are working extremely hard in unforgiving circumstances to bring education, hope, and a future to children everywhere.”
Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, also released a statement about the funding, saying: “ECW appreciates this generous contribution to help children and youth left furthest behind in armed conflicts, forced displacement, and natural disasters, who are now doubly affected by COVID-19. There is no end in sight to how much these young souls have to suffer, and they must be our absolute priority.”
Ford Motor Company
American automaker Ford Motor Co. joined the emergency push for U.S. manufacturers to help produce the thousands of ventilators and respirators needed to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. The partnership project, called Project Apollo, included joining forces with General Electric motors and 3M CO., to produce the necessary equipment to support hospitals battling the spread.
Using the model of GE Healthcare’s ventilator design, the two carmakers will join forces to expand the production, so that it is capable of supporting patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing.
They are also working on a simpler design that Ford can produce at their plants. Separately, Ford is working with United Auto Workers Union to test full-face shields for first responders, to be paired with N95 respirator masks. The ultimate goal is to create a design that others can adopt and use to make their own shields. By taking on countless projects to help produce necessary medical equipment, Ford is doing more than their part to show corporate heroism.
Michelin Starred Restaurant, Tulus Lotrek
When Michelin-starred restaurant Tulus Lotrek, in Berlin, was forced to shut down due to the coronavirus lockdown, they knew there was more they could do. They decided to use their culinary skills to help feed the frontline heroes who did not have the option to work from home.
This initiative, called “Cooking for Heroes,” aims to feed doctors, nurses, police officers, and firefighters who are not able to work from home during this time. The soups, curries, and other tasty meals are lovingly prepared by head chef Max Strohe and his staff, and they help sustain hundreds of medical workers as they treat patients with the virus.
Marriott Hotels and Resorts
Marriott has committed to providing $10 million worth of hotel stays for healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 battle in the United States. The program, called Rooms for Responders, will provide free rooms for healthcare workers in cities like New York, New Orleans, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and more, where the spread of the virus is at its worst.
As well, Marriott has launched the Community Caregiver Program, in collaboration with its hotel owners and franchisee partners. This initiative will provide significantly discounted rates for first responders and healthcare workers who need rooms close to the hospitals where they are needed. This program is available at nearly 2,500 hotels in the United States, Canada, Latin American, and the Caribbean.
“With both initiatives, our goal is simple – we want to support the frontline heroes who are selflessly supporting us.”
While the NASCAR 2020 season may be interrupted, NASCAR has no plans to shut down. They have turned their high-tech Research & Development Center into a medical production center, manufacturing face shields with 3D printers and researching treatment supply options.
They’ve even inspired similar SportsCar companies to help out, like CORE Autosport, whose team shop is manufacturing thousands of facemasks to be distributed across the country. Technique Inc., a company that supplies chassis components to NASCAR, is also helping out by making face shields for medical distribution and has been producing 20,000 masks per day.
— By RAYE MOCIOIU