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Purpose Brand Business Tracker: Brands Support Frontline Medical Workers

Published on May 27, 2020

Consumer brands are donating time and supplies to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Hospitals and their workers in the COVID-19 epidemic are in desperate need of supplies, from dwindling personal protective equipment (PPE) to easy access to meals. The emotional and financial drain on these frontline workers continues to mount daily and they need help. Major corporations are hearing the call.

According to The Purpose Report 2020, 4 in 5 respondents agree that a brand or company should have a purpose beyond profit. For every gender, age, racial or political group we surveyed, cash donations and direct aid to social causes were the most-cited indicators of a brand or company’s purpose. As the coronavirus reveals its devastating effects, brands are showing purpose by supporting those who are working to combat COVID-19.

Consumer brands are donating its own products and services to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This list of corporate and brand purpose initiatives will be updated on a regular basis:

American Airlines

While the airline industry has been hit hard by effects of COVID-19, American Airlines is playing its part as a good corporate citizen in aiding frontline workers. On May 19, the airline announced a joint effort with Deloitte to ship medical gowns to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. In addition to this partnership, American has raised more than $2 million to support the American Red Cross and its volunteers in the COVID-19 pandemic. American’s hospital donations include mask kits and personal-care supplies for medical workers and quarantined patients,

Mattel

The Barbie doll manufacturer tied sales to its product donations for first-responder families. On May 14, Mattel said the brand would donate a doll to the First Responders Children’s Foundation for each sale in its career Barbie doll line. The company features first responders in a Play It Forward series of toys and games across its brands, including Fisher-Price and Matchbox.

Nike

As recently as May 4, apparel maker Nike, with its employees and foundation, has committed more than $25 million to COVID-19 response efforts around the world. In addition to supporting efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners, the global company donated 32,500 pairs of Air Zoom Pulse work shoes to healthcare workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in 10 U.S. and European cities where its employees live. Additionally, the company has donated face shields and goggles to health systems across its home state of Oregon, along with health systems in Boston, Memphis and St. Louis.

McDonald’s

From April 21 through May 5, McDonald’s free Thank You Meals at its restaurants to first responders who arrived in uniform or with work IDs. The Chicago-based brand’s efforts to support healthcare workers included donating 750,000 masks to Chicago and 250,000 to Illinois efforts to source PPE to first responders and medical personnel.

American Express

On April 6, in partnership with Hilton, American Express donated up to 1 million hotel room nights across the United States to medical professionals leading the fight against COVID-19. The brand would cover room costs for doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other frontline medical staff to sleep, recharge or isolate from their families.

Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams has donated paint and more than 250,000 PPE items from its stores, such as N95 masks, protective gloves and coveralls, to hospitals and first responders. Local operators also collected groceries for food banks and paint for a mural saluting essential workers.

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