It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of negative news making headlines. However, challenging situations have also given way to inspiring acts of human kindness.Individuals are going out of their way to help their neighbors, and celebrities are using their influence to raise funds.
Many technology companies are also finding ways to give back to the community in difficult times. Here are six of our favorite stories of tech companies finding creative ways to support their community.
1. Free Video Conferencing
Although some of the students might have been looking forward to uninterrupted video game time, tech companies have helped ensure that none of them would fall behind on their studies. When schools had to close buildings in order to keep students safe, Zoom announced it would provide these schools with free basic accounts with unlimited meeting minutes. Additionally, videoconferencing platform 8×8 allows anyone (not just students) to use a standalone version of their product for free.
As different organizations work towards finding a cure and understanding the virus, Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched the Diagnostic Development Initiative, a global program that supports those working to bring better diagnostic solutions. The initiative promotes collaboration and fast tracks research into a cure. Amazon’s commitment also included an initial investment of $20 million towards research.
When a hospital in Brescia, Italy was running low on ventilator valves, it reached out to organizations that could help. Within hours, a local 3D printing business had produced a number of these life-saving parts to help with urgent need. They not only committed to making more valves, but they were also joined by other local companies with the capacity to 3D print.
Honeywell began using its manufacturing facilities to produce N95 face masks in partnership with the U.S. government. Not only does this help provide needed protective equipment to those in the frontlines of healthcare, but it also helped create about 500 additional jobs.
When Microsoft asked all employees who could work from home to do so, it also made a commitment to the workers who keep Microsoft offices running day-to-day. The company announced that it would continue to pay regular wages to the individuals who work for their vendors, such as staff at their cafés and their shuttle drivers. In Microsoft’s Puget Sound campus alone, this accounted for 4,500 employees who would continue to receive their regular pay even if their hours were reduced.
Parents working from home are facing a unique challenge: they are having to complete all of their work tasks while also keeping their kids busy and making sure they do their school work. Audible is making this job just a little bit easier by providing free educational and entertaining children’s literature.
While it’s easy to be overwhelmed by negative news, it’s also important to remember all the wonderful things people do for one another—and what tech companies are doing to give back to their community!