There’s no denying that the coronavirus pandemic has made 2020 one of the darkest years in recent memories. The pandemic has affected every industry and business throughout the world – from Disneyland closing for the first time since 9/11 to thousands of small businesses shuttering their doors forever.
The effects of COVID-19 reach well beyond the business world. People have lost loved ones, their financial stability, and their general peace of mind. The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that, in April 2020, there was a 1,000% increase in calls and texts to its emotional distress emergency hotline compared to April 2019.
There is certainly a lot of gloom and helplessness surrounding the pandemic, but many well-known brands are stepping up to bring some positivity to the world. From DoorDash providing deserving homes with groceries and prepared meals to Adidas donating more than $3 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, there are hundreds of popular brands making huge donations to support those in need.
While these popular household brands get most of the recognition, there are many other businesses helping that don’t get as much attention because of the products or services they offer or the industry within which they operate.
We want to shed light on some of these unsung heroes helping during the pandemic Check out the 5 inspiring and unexpected brands making unbelievable impact during the pandemic.
Pornhub Donates 50,000 Masks and Free Porn
The adult entertainment industry is often seen as an unsavory and taboo topic that rarely makes it into the news for something positive. However, Pornhub, one of the leaders in the adult entertainment industry, has stepped up in a big way to help first responders, its talent, and people globally.
Through its COVID-19 relief efforts, Pornhub announced it would:
Donate 50,000 masks to New York City-area workers to give them protection.
Donate 50,000 euros to organizations in Germany, Italy, and Spain to purchase additional masks.
Give models 85% of the profits from video views instead of the standard 65%, helping them with extra income.
Donate $25,000 to the Sex Workers Outreach Project to account for drops in donations during the pandemic.
Pornhub also offered its premium service free for 30 days worldwide (normally $9.99 per month) to encourage people to stay inside and help flatten the curve. Corey Price, VP of Pornhub, stated that “With nearly one billion people in lockdown across the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that we lend a hand and provide them with an enjoyable way to pass the time.”
Pornhub’s efforts go above and beyond what is expected of any brand, and they deserve recognition for their efforts – even if they are in a traditionally taboo industry.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka Gives $3.9 Million for COVID-19 Research and Relief
The alcoholic beverage industry is another oft-overlooked sector making positive waves amid the coronavirus pandemic. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is one of the brands putting a concerted effort into supporting the relief and research of COVID-19.
Texas-based distillery Tito's Handmade Vodka donated $1 million to the Baylor College of Medicine. The goal of the donation is for developers to speed up a vaccine and move into the human trial period. Hopefully, the additional funding from Tito’s Vodka would help develop a COVID-19 vaccine faster.
"It's an honor to work with Tito's on this life-saving initiative, which we hope will ultimately lead to a vaccine for America," Dr. Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor, told ABC 13 news.
Tito’s also donated a 2-year grant totaling $2.5 million to the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium to track the virus and collect information which can increase our readiness for future pandemics.
Finally, Tito’s put $400,000 to fund the production of 500 ventilators for use throughout Central Texas. These ventilators will use recycled materials such as windshield wipers to keep production costs at 10% of traditional ventilators without sacrificing its quality.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka is putting its money where its mouth is by making large donations to its surrounding community. These contributions are designed to offer immediate relief but also support programs to reduce the effects of future pandemics.
Bacardi Supports Jobless Restaurant Workers
Tito’s isn’t the only alcoholic brand donating significant funds to limit the impact of COVID-19. The rum brand Bacardi Limited donated $3 million worldwide to support hospitality workers who are currently jobless.
This donation helps waitstaff, bartenders, and hotel employees who have been furloughed because of the pandemic. The brand’s tequila branch, Patron, also donated $1 million to hospitality workers during the pandemic.
This donation is part of Bacardi’s #RaiseYourSpirits initiative, which works with individual communities to support restaurant workers. The $3 million will be spread across several organizations that provide scholarships, grants, and support for hospitality staff.
While large donations are always welcome, this community involvement ensures that the aid gets to the right people and addresses real problems within neighborhoods and small towns across the country.
Bacardi and Tito’s are just two of the many alcoholic brands making a big difference during the pandemic. Others like Jack Daniels, Guinness, and Gray Goose have also made sizeable donations to support COVID-19 causes.
Great.com Donates $100,000 with Exponential Return
Founders Pledge is a non-profit organization supporting and growing a community of altruistic entrepreneurs that have each committed a portion of their current or future personal wealth to relevant and vetted charities that align with their individual values and interests. Great.com chose Founders Pledge for its donation because Founders Pledge will use that funding to continue to grow that community. More formalized commitments mean a higher impact over time.
In an interview with Great.com, David Goldberg, co-founder of Founders Pledge, talked specifically about their approach to supporting COVID-19 relief. He discussed how they’ve helped fund pandemic preparedness organizations since early 2019 and that they are taking an adaptive approach to funding pandemic-related organizations amid the coronavirus.
David went on to describe how they select charities that offer the highest impact per donation. They aren’t simply choosing the obvious or most-popular foundations, they look at several other factors and try to determine which causes are being overlooked that could do the most good with more funding.
As a result, Founders Pledge launched a COVID-19 Global Impact and Innovation Fund to support immediate relief and long-term preparedness.
Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City Donates $50,000 to South Jersey
Resorts Casino Hotel is a staple in Atlantic City and the entire casino industry. Even though Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all Atlantic City casinos to close their doors on March 16, Resorts Casino Hotel has not wavered in their commitment to supporting the South Jersey community during this trying time.
Resorts split its $50,000 donation across two local charities aiming to offer COVID-19 relief to the South Jersey area. $25,000 was given to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and the other $25,000 went to the Jewish Family Services of Atlantic and Cape (JFS).
The owner of Resorts Casino Hotel, Morris Bailey, recently said “I am honored to be able to be in a position to help two vital groups in our South Jersey area, The Food Bank of South Jersey and JFS.”
The donation to the South Jersey food bank will offer immediate aid to the community and will specifically support its COVID-19 emergency efforts. The funds for JFS will help local food services, homelessness, mental health counseling, and ongoing emergency assistance during and after the pandemic.
Every Brand Is Doing What It Can
The coronavirus pandemic is an experience, unlike anything we’ve ever seen – the effects of which will be felt for many years. While there is no shortage of negative stories out there about the pandemic, what’s encouraging is the fact that brands around the world are stepping up to support their local and global community.
Even if you don’t personally support industries like adult entertainment, gambling, or alcohol – you can still appreciate the selfless efforts and actions of these unlikely brands amid this unsettling time. From porn websites providing masks to casinos supporting its local community, there are thousands of unsung heroes making a big difference throughout the world.