We at GFC have been inspired by the efforts of so many of our customers to help those in need. Today is Customer Appreciation Day, and we wanted to highlight some of the most inspiring efforts by our customers to help those in need in our communities.Some of these companies are among the Midwest's largest and fastest growing, like Exact Sciences, which has been running COVID-19 tests or American Family Insurance, which is sending rebates of $50 to customers and providing more than $4 million in support for pandemic relief & other non-profit efforts. (Additional grants from the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation will push our total support to more than $6.8 million.)
Many companies are able to use their capabilities to offer direct assistance to medical professionals, like Metcalfe Foods donating food to those in need or Placon and Plastic Ingenuity offering their expertise in plastic manufacturing to help researchers design and produce new face shields. Others can offer financial supports, like Compeer, which donated $830,000 to COVID-19 relief, or Alliant Energy, which has donated to relief funds in Wisconsin and Iowa.
Changing Business Models to Make a Change
Many companies have been able to quickly retool their businesses to address pressing needs. Electronic Theatre Controls is producing face shields for those fighting the outbreak and has just begun shipping new shields and is quickly ramping up production.
Or consider the case of Janesville-based Prent Corporation. Just last week, Mercy Hospital, in Janesville contacted Prent to fill a shortage of essential open face shields. The initial plan, to provide Mercy a 2,000 shields grew to 10,000 face shields to all healthcare workers and first responders in Rock County. Prent went from learning of the shortage to delivering product in 48 hours as its design staff used 3D modeling and an in-house laser to design an innovative new mask. On Tuesday morning, the company was able to donate and deliver 2,200 face shields to the Flagstaff Medical Center.
We’re in a time of constant change, with a lot of uncertainty.— JP Cullen (@JPCullen1892) March 23, 2020
With the help of Verona Safety Supplies, we were able to source 2,400 mask and are donating them to our local hospitals. We urge you to as well.
Every bit of help makes a difference! #CullenCares pic.twitter.com/7yxvPHW6mJ
Teel Plastics is making medical sample bags, disinfection products and respirator components all used to battle COVID-19.
Velocity Urgent Care has launched the first and only drive-up COVID-19 testing site in its markets that does not require residency of a specific city, membership in a specific HMO, or an advance physician referral. In fact, it is the only urgent care provider in our Coastal Virginia markets to offer COVID-19 testing at every location
Engman-Taylor donates 850 pairs of safety glasses, N95 masks, & face shields. Team ET is also working with Lake Health Organization, on 3D printed face shields & ventilators, as well as working with Operation Dynamo on ventilators. #3dpartsunlimited #3dprinting #COVID19Pandemic pic.twitter.com/GyLRmVDTHm— Engman-Taylor (@EngmanTaylor) April 2, 2020
Got hand sanitizer? We salute the @ILSoybean and the @ChicagoParks for collaborating to produce this essential item. Charleston│Orwig designed the container labels for the inspiring project. Read more here: https://t.co/reQWlgPEtH pic.twitter.com/vwt6AkhkMh— Charleston Orwig (@CharlestonOrwig) April 10, 2020
Many organizations are putting the full weight of their resources and expertise to directly help fight the COVID-19 virus or to help others directly impacted by the pandemic. The UIC Hospitals in Chicago are among more than 75 hospitals across the world testing the efficacy of an antiviral drug that could help fight coronavirus. The WinTrust Bank is working overtime to ensure small businesses can access relief funds that will help keep employees on staff and businesses operating despite the nationwide shutdown.
Or consider the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County which fed over 500 people with lasagna from Gino's Italian Deli with additional food from Feed Kitchen. The organizations also distributed board games for families to entertain themselves at home.
We support the hard-working men and women out on the roads keeping America running during these challenging times. We're continuing production of all essential truck lights to keep your customers safe on the roads. pic.twitter.com/MSdFNHxnHb— J.W. Speaker Corp. (@JWSpeaker) April 8, 2020
The River Food Pantry’s efforts include providing free lunches for students Monday through Saturday for the length of the school closure.
TASC – Total Administrative Services Corporation is making their expertise and emergency benefits accounts available for free during 2020 to help employers respond to the impact the crisis has had on their business. The company also donated over $100,000 to community non-profits. The local NBC 15 news provided great coverage of teir efforts here: https://lnkd.in/grSjKiy
The Middleton Education Foundation raised funds to make sure Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District students aren’t going hungry while schools are closed. So far, it has raised more than $31,000 for area students. The Madison Reading Project and Reach Dane are helping to provide free, high-quality books to children impacted by the school closures due to COVID-19.
Batteries Plus provides vital products and services to during times of crisis. Learn more about our team’s response and how you can be a part of the team. https://t.co/ttP4mRL10c#franchising #servingthecommunity #essentialbusiness #curbsidepickup #beyourownboss pic.twitter.com/LTMb36I5a1— Batteries Plus Bulbs (@batteriesplus) April 14, 2020
Of course, many workers are on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. UW Health is involved in many direct and indirect efforts, but check out this great video talking about how the Information Technology is helping ensure the health care workers can have the resources they need.
It is important to remember those directly helping people in need, like the Northern Illinois Food Bank, which is preparing to meet the growing need for food and resources as COVID-19 spreads throughout the Chicago suburbs and throughout northern Illinois. "We are open for business, we are in disaster mode," said Director and CEO Julie Yurko.
On this Customer Appreciation Day, we salute our customers that are helping others during this difficult time by dedicating their time and resources to those in the Midwest. If you can, we encourage everyone to reach out to the non-profits and healthcare organizations listed above to donate whatever is possible.