Companies are helping people affected by the coronavirus by providing free services and aiding healthcare workers. U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage to college students who had to move out of their dorms. Burger King is giving away two free kids' meals with any purchase. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many businesses to close in order to slow the spread of the disease. Larger companies are stepping up to help fill the gaps. They're providing first responders and healthcare workers with vital equipment in short supply, and helping everyday people who have been affected by the disease with free meals, storage, and other services. Here's how these companies are helping people during the coronavirus pandemic.FOLLOW US: Business Insider is on Facebook U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage to college students who are displaced due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Colleges across the US have switched to remote learning and sent students home from the dorms as the coronavirus spreads. For those who don't have a home nearby to store their possessions, U-Haul is providing 30 days of free storage to any college student in need. U-Haul spokesperson Jeff Lockridge told Insider's Kelly McLaughlin that the offer is available at all U-Haul-owned and -operated storage facilities across the nation, subject to availability, for students who have been displaced because of coronavirus safety measures. "There is no purchase of any kind necessary for the current offer to college students," Lockridge said. "It is merely a gesture of goodwill given the extraordinary circumstances taking place and our ability to help." Stop & Shop stores are opening earlier for senior citizens and immunocompromised people so they can shop without being exposed to larger crowds.
From 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., Stop & Shop stores will be open exclusively to those who are more vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes people over 60 years old and those with weakened immune systems. "We're making the decision to offer this every day of the week to allow for community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing. They'll also be shopping prior to any other customers entering," Stop & Shop said in a press release. Louis Vuitton's parent company will use its cosmetics and perfume manufacturing facilities to make free alcohol-based sanitizer amid the global shortage.
LVMH Moët Hennessy, the French company behind major brands like Louis Vuitton, Fenty Beauty, and Benefit Cosmetics, announced that its factories that normally manufacture perfume will shift to manufacturing hand sanitizer gel, Insider's Connor Perrett reported. "LVMH will use the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands ... to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gels from Monday," the company said in a statement, according to Reuters. The company also said it would be delivering the products to French healthcare authorities for free. L'Oréal will also start producing hand sanitizer in its facilities.
WWD reported that L'Oréal will produce hand sanitizer and hydroalcoholic gel instead of makeup and cosmetic creams and donate 1 million euros to provide hygiene kits for volunteers. Burger King is giving away two free kids' meals with any purchase made via the Burger King app.
The fast-food chain is giving away two kids' meals with any purchase made via the Burger King app starting this week, Restaurant Brands International CEO Jose Cil told Business Insider's Kate Taylor. "We have the ability to help feed America," Cil said. Uber Eats is donating 300,000 meals to first responders and healthcare workers.
Uber Eats is also waiving delivery fees for over 100,000 independent restaurants to encourage people to support local businesses. Designer Christian Siriano's sewing team is making masks for healthcare workers.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press briefing asking for businesses in New York to help manufacture more medical supplies needed to confront the coronavirus. Designer and "Project Runway" winner Christian Siriano answered the call. "If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help," he tweeted. Representatives for Christian Siriano told Insider's Celia Fernandez that they are "still in the early stages" of production. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple will be donating "millions" of masks to health workers in the US and Europe.
"Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19," Cook wrote on Twitter. "We're donating millions of masks for health professionals in the US and Europe. To every one of the heroes on the front lines, we thank you." Facebook donated 720,000 masks that were left over from the California wildfires.
"Health workers urgently need more protective gear," Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. "To help, Facebook donated our emergency reserve of 720,000 masks that we had bought in case the wildfires continued. We're also working on sourcing millions more to donate. I hope you're all staying healthy and safe!" Salesforce donated 9,000 masks to the University of California Medical Center.
"Thank you to our Ohana for delivering our first 9000 masks to UCSF," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted. "We are working hard across all of our resources & relationships to deliver an additional 5 million masks this week plus additional critical PPE. All of us need to focus on getting PPE to our local hospitals." Johnson & Johnson has donated masks, isopropyl alcohol, and contact lenses to hospitals and medical workers.
Johnson & Johnson donated 1 million masks, 48,000 bottles of isopropyl alcohol, an electrosurgical generator, and 1,300 packs of Acuvue contact lenses to affected areas in China. The company is also donating 1 million renminbi (the currency of China) to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.
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