Countless metro Atlantans continue to help others in need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Here’s a rundown of the local residents, businesses and organizations aiding others:
Marlow’s Tavern, which has restaurants in Brookhaven, Midtown, Sandy Springs and Vinings, is offering free meals to their all of their locations’ furloughed employees, except the Buford one. Furloughed workers can place a meal order online for pick-up at the Dunwoody or Northlake location.
For more information, visit www.marlowstavern.com.
Gas South, an Atlanta-based natural gas provider, announced it will donate more than $1 million this year to support families throughout Georgia and Florida impacted by COVID-19.
To meet an urgent need, Gas South will deploy $850,000 of these funds in April. Also, the company increased annual funding to four of its primary nonprofit partners with the broadest capacity to reach those in the community affected by COVID-19: the United Way, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Heating Energy Assistance Team (HEAT) and the YMCA of Metro Atlanta.
Other nonprofits receiving immediate funding as part of the company’s ongoing mission to “Be a Fuel for Good” are Ser Familia, The Salvation Army and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
“The difficulties presented by COVID-19 to our community and nation are unprecedented, and we want to support our neighbors with these donations while encouraging others to join,” Gas South President and CEO Kevin Greiner said in the release. “We have partnered with each of these incredible organizations in the past, so we’re confident in their ability to put these donations to work effectively and immediately.”
Sandy Springs-based Inspire Brands, which owns the Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco and Sonic restaurant companies, is launching a $1 million COVID-19 relief fund through its charitable arm, the Inspire Brands Foundation.
According to a news release, the fund’s initial disbursement is a $100,000 grant from the Arby’s Foundation, a division of the Inspire Brands Foundation, to support GENYOUth, a nonprofit dedicated to creating healthier school communities.
These monies will back GENYOUth’s newly established COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund and will provide up to 33 schools across the country grants of $3,000 each to purchase supplies for meal distribution and delivery.
“As a restaurant company, serving others is at the heart of who we are and how we operate,” Stuart Brown, the Inspire Brands Foundation’s executive director, said in the release. “We’re hopeful that with community support, we can grow this fund beyond our initial investment, allowing us to serve more impacted youth and restaurant workers through the summer months and beyond.”
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has established its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which has already received more than $2.5 million in donations.
So far, according to the foundation’s website, $851,000 in grants have already been doled out to these organizations: Jewish HomeLife ($273,000), Jewish Family & Career Services ($220,000 total – three grants), Jewish Interest-Free Loans of Atlanta ($174,000), Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta ($134,000– two grants) and Rabbis’ Discretionary Fund ($50,000).
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2wzX9s4.
The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation, a division of Buckhead-based Spanx, will donate $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and partnered with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund, according to GolbalGiving’s website.
GlobalGiving will monitor the fund, making 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by the crisis.
Also, each woman who receives the grant will get a “lucky” red backpack. Spanx founder Sara Blakely started the company with her “lucky” red backpack from college. The lucky red backpack is a symbol of starting small while dreaming big and has become the foundation’s official icon.
Finally, thanks to MasterClass’ donation, all 1,000 women will also receive a free annual All-Access Pass to all 80-plus MasterClass instructors, including Blakely’s class on entrepreneurship.
To apply, visit www.globalgiving.org/redbackpackfund.
Sandy Springs Fire Department
Both before and after the pandemic started, the Sandy Springs Fire Department has often posted photos of its employees receiving free meals and other donations as a way to thank those who gave them.
In a message posted to its page April 10, the department showed at two stations donated signs that state, “Heroes work here.”
“Sandy Springs Fire is feeling the love from our community. Our crews came back to their stations to find these amazing signs in front of their stations. Thank you to SpeedPro,” the message stated.
Earlier in the week the department posted a video of its vehicles driving by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, Northside Hospital and Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital with its lights on to thank their staffs for helping battle COVID-19. To view the video, visit https://bit.ly/3b3ij0K.
Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) is launching the #myGAneighborhood campaign as a way to encourage neighborhood support and spread joy in the state’s communities amid days of social distancing due to the pandemic.
“Whether you’re sending positive thoughts with chalk art messages on your sidewalks and streets, leading a neighborhood activity or carrying out a good deed for neighbors in need, we want to hear from you,” the release stated.
GPB will be tracking submissions and sharing some of its favorites on social media and in special television segments. For more information on how to participate, visit gpb.org/neighborhood.
The Marcus Foundation has made a $2.1 million grant to Grady Health System, which includes Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta.
The grant will be used to fast-track Grady’s surge capacity plan, specifically to stand up much-needed patient beds as 220 beds remain offline as a result of the flooding event experienced by the hospital late last year. The foundation’s grant supports the creation of up to 52 more patient beds in preparation for a potential surge in COVID-19 admissions.
“Thanks to the incredible generosity of The Marcus Foundation, Grady is better equipped to meet this unprecedented challenge head on,” Grady Health President and CEO John Haupert said in a news release. “We are very grateful for (foundation co-founder) Bernie Marcus’ generous support and unwavering dedication to our community’s health and well-being. Grady and all of us who live and work in Atlanta are fortunate for the agile and transformational investments that Mr. Marcus continues to make that save and change lives.”
In the release, Marcus said, “We have to do all we can to slow the spread of the virus and make sure our hospitals in our communities are prepared. Grady is an important part of that preparation and we salute those on the front lines saving lives every day.”
For more information, visit www.gradyhealthfoundation.org.
Amerigroup Georgia, a Virginia Beach, Virginia-based health insurance company; the Georgia Department of Community Health and the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services are partnering to launch a new program that will provide free laptops and three months of free internet access to children living in foster care.
To help the thousands of kids currently complying with social distancing directives and continuing their education at home, the program will make up to 200 new laptops available to eligible foster care children and families.
“These laptops will help children and youth in care access the same resources other children enjoy during these difficult times. These tools not only will allow them to keep up in school, but will also help them maintain the social connections critical to their well-being and development,” Tom Rawlings, the division’s director, said in a news release.
In addition to the free laptops and internet access, Amerigroup Georgia will be offering access to home-delivered meals to eligible members throughout the state. This program, in collaboration with GA Foods, provides children and families living in foster care with food for up to two weeks.
Ginny Millner Foundation
The Ginny Millner Foundation, a Buckhead-based pet advocacy organization, in partnership with Tractor Supply Co., is coordinating a statewide Feed The Shelters/Rescues program. In the initiative, the foundation and Tractor Supply are donating food and other supplies to animal shelters and rescue organizations all over Georgia. They are also accepting donations.
For more information or to donate, visit www.facebook.com/gmillnerfoundation.
Lyft, a San Francisco-based rideshare company, April 15 launched Essential Deliveries, a scalable on-demand delivery product that lets organizations request a Lyft driver to transport essential deliveries – groceries, medical supplies and home necessities and more – to other businesses and individuals in need.
Available in 11 markets, including Atlanta, the program gives drivers a chance to make extra money while ridership is down due to the outbreak. Essential Deliveries was quickly developed over the past several weeks to meet the increased need for delivery during the pandemic.
Common recipients include seniors and immune-compromised individuals looking to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19, as well as low-income residents and families that lack access to reliable, affordable transportation to meet their very basic needs, like groceries.
Some of the organizations’ partnerships are funded by Lyft and others are paid for through the charity itself.
For more information, visit www.lyft.com/blog/posts/essential-deliveries.