As the United States breaks the record for most deaths in one day this Wednesday, the strain on healthcare and essential workers has become immense. A recent AP article brought color to the situation, stating workers are “depressed, disheartened and tired to the bone.” Yet, as COVID-19 rages on and the impact on frontline workers becomes increasingly high, company support has been on the decline. Today, we highlight a few brands continuing or revamping their efforts to help those at the forefront of the pandemic.
- Nurses are some of the most overworked frontline employees and many of them have not been able to see their families since the beginning of the year. Cox Communications has recognized this and built off of its Connections Project– an effort that originally linked Cox employees with isolated seniors in May – to virtually connect nurses with their families. In this revamped campaign, Cox coordinated the surprise delivery of home-cooked meals from the nurse’s own mom and then donated their video services so they could then virtually share a family meal. “These nurses risk their lives every day. They do so much for everyone else, it’s nice to be able to do even just a little something for them,” stated the director of the Full of Love film, Mike Bokmen.
- Target is continuing to invest in its employees during these trying times. The major retailer announced that it will give more than $70 millionin another round of employee bonuses to the 350,000 frontline workers keeping operations running. Supporting its employees has not been a new concept to Target; these bonuses are part of the almost $1 billion the company has contributed towards employee pay – including a minimum wage increase and benefits like childcare.
- In an effort to provide a small amount of comfort during increasingly challenging times, Starbucks is offering free coffee to all first responders and health care workers during the month of December. This small gesture is an effort to “reignite the movement of gratitude and to show those on the front line how much they are appreciated.” Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks vice president of global social impact, built on this call to action by stating: “Hopefully other brands will join us in thinking about how they can use their platform to again show support. Little deposits in morale can really go a long way, just so that they feel the support from our community.”
Without a reprieve during the pandemic and cases surging in all 50 states, the toll on frontline workers is higher than ever. There is a critical need for companies to reinvigorate their relief campaigns from the beginning of the year. Even simple acts such as donating a cup of joe can brighten the day of a hero who is serving us or holding the coronavirus at bay.