Charitable activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the international and domestic economies. Thus, many organizations, private individuals, religious institutions and governments have created different charitable drives, concerts and other events to lessen the economic impact felt.


Due to concerns about the spread of the disease, many countries issued lock-down orders which shuttered non-essential businesses, such as restaurants, museums, and animal shelters. While some of the businesses and organizations had savings or endowments to help pay bills during the shut down, charitable acts became common during the pandemic to help in the economic down turn.

Business individuals

George Soros directed his Open Society Foundation to create a funding package of $130 million to support workers and their families in New York City, emergency relief to vulnerable workers across the world, and countering disinformation amongst other causes.[1] Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, directed their foundation Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to donate $1 million in relief with a quarter of the amount to go to the Wilcox Medical Center, and the remainder going to helping the community on Kauai.[2] Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to Feeding America non-profit to help Americans facing food insecurity during the pandemic.[3]

Michael Kors gave $2 million to the NYU Langone Health, New York Presbyterian Hospital, God's Love We Deliver non-profit and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19 Relief. The Versace Family donated $500,000 to the San Raffaele Hospitals ICU and the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana's relief fund. Jimmy Choo donated $500,000 to medical professionals via the National Health Service Relief Fund and the WHO Relief Fund.[4]

The founder of Bass Pro Shops, Johnny Morris, donated one million ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks throughout the United States.[5] In a charitable action towards his workers the CEO of Delta Airlines Ed Bastian announced that he would forgo his own salary for six months in an effort to protect the general workers.[6]


On April 18, 2020, celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Andrea Bocelli came together to livestream a concert for the World Health Organization in support of the organizations general fund.[7] While the event was broadcast, philanthropists and companies were encouraged to contribute to the fund, although some had already contributed about $150 million to it prior to the airing of the program.[8] On World Health Day, Sean McLoughlin, an Irish YouTuber was the main organizer for the #HopeFromHome program that brought together entertainers, influencers, gamers and other creators from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. All participants fundraised for multiple organizations through Tiltify with a total of $1.7 million distributed evenly to United Way Worldwide, the United Nations Foundation for COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO, and Comic Relief US's Red Nose Day.[9]

Other celebrities have created clothing lines based around the pandemic with the proceeds donated to the World Health Organizations Fund, such as Harry Styles T-shirt campaign[10] and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively's T-shirt campaign.[11] Misha Collins revamped his week long scavenger hunt; GISH, into a day long Play-At-Home hunt with the registration fee being used to provide meals for children who have lost food access due to the shutdowns.[12]

NBA Charlotte Hornets player Bismarck Biyombo donated over $1 million worth of medical supplies to his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson announced via Instagram that he would help cover the salaries of all those who worked at the team stadium while the games were canceled.[13]


Starbucks committed $10 million to a newly created Starbucks Global Partner Emergency Relief Program to specifically work for their workers facing extreme hardships as a result of COVID-19 and allow them to have access to emergency support.[14] Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey committed $1 billion worth of equity of his digital payment platform Square to his Start Small LLC to fund COVID-19 relief around the world.[15] The Philadelphia Eagles matched a $1 million donation to COVID-19 relief efforts to the $1 million donation that the team's owner, Jeffrey Lurie did.[16] TikTok pledged $375 million to multiple organizations to fight the pandemic, Facebook has pledged $220 million, and Google has pledged $800 million.[17]

Other companies have created specific lines of products to sell during the pandemic with 100% of the sales being donated to a specific organization or charity to help offset the COVID-19 pandemic. PopSockets donated their proceeds from their limited run to Doctors Without Borders and Feeding America, a Houston-based jewelry brand Golden Thread donated the proceeds of their Community collection to Houston Food Bank, a partner of Feeding America.[18] The Igloo Cooler Company announced that for a thirty-day period they would donate 100% of all profits from their Playmate coolers to the CDC Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund.[19]

TikTok also added a "Donation Stickers" feature to the platform, allowing users to place stickers on the videos they create that link directly to in-app donation pages, with the goal of encouraging people to donate to charitable organizations during the pandemic.[20]

In April 2020, the Astros Foundation partnered with Crane Worldwide, both owned by Jim Crane, to provide medical equipment to those in need. The Astros Foundation donated $400,000 to support hospitals in the Texas Medical Center while Crane Worldwide delivered approximately 10 million masks, hundreds of thousands of test swabs, 200,000 face shields, 30,000 goggles and 470 forehead thermometers to hospitals in Texas.[21][22]


Many food based non-profits created food distribution programs to help alleviate the strain on local food banks as unemployment rose due to the pandemic. Non-profits such as Feeding America, World Central Kitchen, and Half-Table Man Disaster Relief worked to either distribute food directly to individuals or to the food banks.[23]

Other organizations such as the World Health Organization urged for donations that would go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, a central fund to aid for critical response efforts worldwide.[24] The Actors Fund, an emergency fund for essential medication costs and basic living expenses live streamed The Phantom of the Opera at London's Royal Albert Hall starring Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggess, and Hadley Fraser, on YouTube to provide entertainment and raise funds.[25]

In an effort to lessen the impact for the animals in their care, local animal shelters and rescue groups across the world have lessened services and pushed for animal adoption or fostering during the pandemic.[26] Shelters used the lack of animals in their care due to community response, to help distribute pet food to those unable to purchase food for their pets either due to economic or health based concerns.[27]

Some organizations remained partially open in an effort to help the families of essential employees or the homeless populations in the area. The YMCA in certain areas opened the bathroom and shower facilities during certain hours for the homeless populations,[28] created activity packs for children based on school district lists,[29] and child care for essential workers while asking for donations to offset the costs.[30]

The Crypto community started a charity for relief efforts in India,[31] raising almost $1B in funds, the majority from a charitable donation from Vitalik Buterin.[32]


  1. ^ Klar, Rebecca (April 16, 2020). "George Soros directs more than $130M in foundation funds to combat coronavirus". The Hill. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  2. ^ "Facebook's CEO, wife donates $1M to help Kauai battle coronavirus". Hawaii News Now. April 12, 2020. Archived from the original on April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  3. ^ Wallace, Anne (April 3, 2020). "Amazon's Jeff Bezos makes $100 million donation to help Americans facing food insecurity". Deseret News. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  4. ^ Moussavian, Anahita (April 2, 2020). "Michael Kors, Versace, Jimmy Choo donate $3M to coronavirus relief". New York Post. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  5. ^ "Bass Pro Shops founder to donate one million face masks to COVID-19 healthcare workers". San Saba News & Star. April 22, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  6. ^ Braverman, Jason (March 13, 2020). "Delta CEO Ed Bastian to give up own salary amid cuts tied to coronavirus". WXIA. Retrieved April 20, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Bowman, Emma (April 18, 2020). "Star-Studded 'One World' Concert To Rally Support For Health Care Workers". NPR. Archived from the original on April 19, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  8. ^ "Lady Gaga, Rolling Stones, top stars come 'together at home' for Covid-19 benefit concert". France 24. April 19, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  9. ^ Bundy, Austen. "A YouTube gamer helped raise nearly $660,000 in 12 hours for Covid-19 relief efforts". CNN. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  10. ^ Kaufman, Gil (April 7, 2020). "Harry Styles' Charity Shirt: Details". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 11, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  11. ^ Vincent, Brittany (April 17, 2020). "Ryan Reynolds Recruited Blake Lively's Mom To Sell 'Obscenely Boring Shirts' For COVID-19 Relief". MTV News. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  12. ^ Mason, Jessica (April 20, 2020). "Misha Collins Talks His Play-at-Home, Mini Gish Scavenger Hunt". Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  13. ^ "How Celebrities, Athletes, and Civilians Are Giving Back During the Coronavirus Pandemic". Glamour. April 19, 2020. Archived from the original on March 17, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  14. ^ "Starbucks Commits $10M USD in COVID-19 relief for partners around the world" (Press release). Starbucks. April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.{{cite press release}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ Statt, Nick (April 7, 2020). "Jack Dorsey to donate $1 billion to fund COVID-19 relief and other charities". The Verge. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Zangaro, Dave (April 21, 2020). "Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles Donating $1 Million for Coronavirus Relief Effort and 100,000 N-95 Masks to Hospitals". NBC10 Philadelphia. Archived from the original on July 29, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  17. ^ Wallace, Anne (April 9, 2020). "TikTok is donating $375 million to COVID-19 relief". Deseret News. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  18. ^ Fox, Caroline. "30 companies that are donating their proceeds to coronavirus relief charities". Business Insider. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  19. ^ "Igloo Pledges Profits to CDC Foundation's Coronavirus Response Fund" (Press release). Igloo. March 19, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020 – via Business Wire.
  20. ^ Porter, Jon (April 28, 2020). "TikTok's latest stickers let you donate to charity". The Verge.
  21. ^ Scott, Thomas (April 1, 2020). "Astros donate $400,000 to Houston hospitals". Beaumont Enterprise. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  22. ^ "Astros Foundation and Crane Worldwide donate medical supplies – Crane Worldwide Logistics". Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  23. ^ Giordano, Medea (April 18, 2020). "The Nonprofits and Companies Helping to Fight the Pandemic". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved April 20, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "COVID-19 Response Fund". World Health Organization. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  25. ^ Kiefer, Halle (April 18, 2020). "Not Only Should You Stream The Phantom of the Opera This Weekend, You Have To". Vulture. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  26. ^ Vongkiatkajorn, Kanyakrit; Daily, Laura (April 6, 2020). "How you can help during the coronavirus outbreak". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 21, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  27. ^ Pritchett, Valerie (April 20, 2020). "York County SPCA starts pantry to help owners feed pets". ABC27. Archived from the original on April 21, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  28. ^ Lord, Shaquille (April 21, 2020). "Floyd Co. YMCA giving opens bathroom, shower to homeless during COVID-19 pandemic". WLKY. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  29. ^ Oberlin, Amy (April 20, 2020). "YMCA providing fun packs for children". KPCNews. Archived from the original on April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  30. ^ "YMCA now accepting COVID-19 essential worker child car assistance payments". KOSA. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  31. ^ Mihindukulasuriya, Regina (April 28, 2021). "India's 'Crypto Relief' Covid fund is all ready with nowhere to go". ThePrint. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  32. ^ Vigna, Caitlin Ostroff and Paul (May 13, 2021). "Ethereum Luminary Makes $1 Billion Covid-19 Gift—in Shiba Inu Coin". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved May 20, 2021.

Media files used on this page

Coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2.png
Author/Creator: Alexey Solodovnikov (Idea, Producer, CG, Editor), Valeria Arkhipova (Scientific Сonsultant), Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Scientifically accurate atomic model of the external structure of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a strain (genetic variant) of the coronavirus that caused Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first identified in Wuhan, China, during December 2019

Each separate locus (amorphous blob) is an atom of:

  cobalt: membrane
  crimson: E protein
  green: M protein
  orange: glucose (glycan)
  turquoise : S (spike) glycoprotein
SARS-CoV-2 (Wikimedia colors).svg
Author/Creator: Geraki, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
SARS-CoV-2 logo in Wikimedia colors