Michael Rubin may be the closest thing Philly has to a fairy godfather.
When the Fanatics founder announced on March 26 that his production facilities would start producing face masks and protective gowns, we cheered.
Little did we know that was just his warmup.
On April 14th, Rubin launched the All-In Challenge, rallying every A-list celeb known to humanity to offer a top-shelf experience (Dinner with Tom Brady! An at-home serenade from Justin Bieber!) to be auctioned or raffled off.
Within its first two weeks, the initiative raised more than $20 million (and counting) to benefit No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, America’s Food Fund, and World Central Kitchen. As a city, we couldn’t be prouder of our homegrown hero.
But Rubin’s not the only business baller in our midst: All around us, companies large and small are doing their part to get us through the pandemic. Here, some recent standouts.
Local businesses doing good during Covid-19
TO ALLEVIATE HUNGER
The Malvern-based grocer is donating $50 million to hunger relief efforts nationwide to help food banks stay stocked, get meals to kids who typically rely on schools for food, and support senior meal programs.
The locally sourced breakfast and lunch café, with two locations in the city, is covering delivery and 50 percent of the cost for anyone who’d like to send a meal or groceries to someone in need via their website, Lunaphilly.com, with the checkout code lunalove.
While we long for our Sizzlis and Shortis, The Wawa Foundation is committed to providing local food banks and qualified nonprofits funds to distribute in communities to relieve hunger through the Covid-19 Emergency Food Distribution Fund. Just when we thought we couldn’t love you more…
FOR MASKS / PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Within the span of just one week, Aramark converted its uniform manufacturing plants—which typically produce lab coats, work shirts, pants and coveralls—to produce respirator and medical masks, scrubs and isolation gowns. The company expects to produce millions of masks, scrubs, and isolation gowns, and in mid-July will start producing respirator and medical masks as well.
The team at Delco-based Braskem made headlines for camping out at HQ for 28 days straight, creating materials to be used for desperately needed personal protective equipment (PPE). All 43 employees were paid for full 24-hour shifts, with a built-in raise for their efforts. “We were just happy to be able to help,” one operations shift supervisor told The Washington Post.
Cocoa Press, InstaHUB + Fulphil
The founders of these three companies joined together to create Project SHIELDS, to produce face shields from Pennovation Works, where CocoaPress and InstaHub are based. To learn more, watch a recap of their recent virtual event with us here.
The chemical manufacturer recently tapped into the capabilities of its labs, production facilities and greenhouses to produce and donate 165,000 masks to Philadelphia area hospitals.
Freundlich and Littman
In just two weeks, the law firm raised nearly $9,000 for PPE2PHL, the grassroots initiative that’s helping to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers.
Live Life Nice + Rush Order Tees
Live Life Nice, the New Jersey-based, cause-driven apparel and media company, and Rush Order Tees are currently selling reusable, washable cloth face masks, and 100 percent of profits will go to Philadelphia organizations that have been affected by Covid-19. They’ve sold 60,000 masks so far—get yours here.
United By Blue
We love their lattes and their groovy gear, and now we have more reasons to celebrate UBB: Their salvaged-hemp blend three pack of face masks isn’t just one of the most elegant pieces of protective equipment we’ve seen, but for each three-pack purchased, one mask will be donated to Philadelphia’s homeless through Chosen 300.
Earlier this month, they also launched the #IStandWithSmall campaign to help shine a spotlight on fellow small businesses who could all use some extra support during the pandemic.
FOR HAND SANITIZER
The Chester County-based creators of artisanal, botanical-forward gin, whiskey and bourbon started producing hand sanitizer for communities in need around the country.
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty + Five Saints Distilling
Your kids know Crazy Aaron’s for its signature silver tins of the most fun putty ever, in hues like glow-in-the-dark and metallic. And you know Five Saints Distilling for its craft vodka, whiskey and gin. Now the toy maker is creating hand sanitizer with its own supplies and those from its Norristown neighbor, and they’ve already donated 100 gallons of it to first responders.
Deer Creek Malt House
Deer Creek put their own spin on the brewery pivot, launching a Help a Neighbor campaign: They’re selling “Neighbor Loaves” and “Neighbor Sanitizer” on their website for the retail price of a 1.5-pound bag of wheat flour or a 1.5-pound bag of barley malt. All of the goods purchased are being used to produce bread to feed the hungry, and sanitizer to protect front line medical staff in the region.
Faber Distilling Co.
Faber Distilling Co. has also shifted production of its high-quality vodkas, gin and rum to manufacture hand sanitizer. In addition to supporting first responders with hand sanitizer, two percent of each sale will go to support the First Responders Children’s Foundation mission of supporting first responders and their families.
FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS
Everyone’s favorite local delivery service committed $1 million in orders to hospital employees: Their Health Care Support Initiative will provide staff working at hospitals nationwide with digital credits for use for delivery of goPuff goodies, like cleaning supplies, home needs, over-the-counter medications, food and drinks.
The Homewood Suites Hotel by Hilton in University City is offering free rooms to medical professionals and policemen impacted by the coronavirus until May 15th. The hotel (whose CEO, David Adelman, is also a Citizen board member) hopes this will help Philadelphia’s first responders who worry that returning home will put their families at risk.
12th Street Catering
12th Street Catering, the local catering service that relies on sustainable, environmentally-friendly ingredients, has partnered with the United States Liability Insurance Group to make daily meals and deliver them to healthcare professionals, first responders, and families of these local heroes. They started the venture on March 30th, and have been delivering hundreds of meals to local hospitals, making sure that meals can feed a family of four.
Manayunk restaurant leaders are working together to provide free meals to first responders. Brendan McGrew, owner of Bourbon Blue, has built a team to respond to the Hospital Heroes Food Drive, with support from The Goat’s Beard, Lucky’s Last Chance, The Manayunk Tavern and Winnie’s Manayunk. The program began with Bourbon Blue making 50 meals of their signature jambalaya and cornbread, which were delivered by Hospital Heroes to Thomas Jefferson Hospital.
Philadelphia Community Corps
Philadelphia Community Corps, owner of Philly Reclaim, a local retail and building material reuse store, has been deemed essential for home improvement during the quarantine. During this time, they are handing out thousands of $100 gift cards in store credit to people who need to work on their homes. The offer is available through May 26th While consignment partners’ items won’t be eligible for store credit, customers can find needed wood, chairs, toilets, and sink, and more. Anyone interested with a Facebook profile or an email can claim one of these coupons by following this link.
While its own team has not had to withstand pay cuts, the NoLibs-based marketing company is mindful of the fact that many others have. So it set aside $150,000 to be able to fund $1,500 grants for the family members of employees who’ve been laid off.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly attributed who is behind The Homewood Suites program offering free rooms for healthcare workers. It is solely sponsored by Campus Apartments CEO David Adelman, who owns the hotel.