At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, every company leader was 100 percent focused on the future and safety of their team, business, and partners.
Once those areas get addressed, more and more companies have been shifting their efforts to aid health care workers and others who provide essential services, as they continue working around the clock for the betterment of society. As the CEO of ThirdLove, I can tell you that we wanted to be involved much sooner, but, as the saying goes, we needed to put our own oxygen mask on first--so that we could ultimately be more helpful to those around us.
Over the past month, we have been thinking strategically about what makes the most sense in order to use the resources we have to give back and help those in need. Like most companies right now, simply donating money isn't feasible. However, there are other ways we all can be part of the solution.
Here are two creative ways you can give back as a company during the coronavirus--and how we are leveraging our resources to help where we can.
1. Band together with your partners and other companies.
When a crisis hits, you see how people and companies really just want to help one another.
One of our raw material suppliers was worried about our safety as a company, so they secured 2,000 surgical masks and sent them to us for all our team. Obviously, we didn't need that many masks, so we actually ended up donating most of them to a local hospital, knowing that the shortage of personal protective equipment was a real problem for frontline workers.
Another partnership came through my connection to the founders of Rothy's. They reached out and said they were starting an Open Innovation Coalition, and we jumped at the opportunity to help out.
One of the challenges they were running into was being able to find enough elastic to manufacture masks and other types of personal protective equipment. Being a lingerie company, we source high-quality elastics for almost all of our products, and so this was absolutely something we could help them with. We started working with our suppliers to get them the elastics they needed in order to contribute to this relief effort.
There are many ways to work together to give back, so be open to those discussions and use the relationships you already have to get started.
2. Give back in a way that works for your company.
Right now, health care workers are doing the hardest jobs in our society today. Nurses, doctors, and other staff are some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic--and many of them are working 12- to 16-hour shifts.
One of the things we pride ourselves on as a brand is creating comfortable, supportive products that let women be their best selves. So we put together a donation of 1,000 ThirdLove bras and underwear for health care workers at UCSF Respiratory Clinic and Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx in New York for staff distributions.
Additionally, we just launched a new program to show our appreciation for everyday heroes, by offering a 15 percent discount to military, veterans, medical professionals, first responders, and teachers.
What's important to remember here is there are a wide variety of ways for your business to be involved in helping the world right now. Maybe it's donating licenses of your software to other businesses in need. Maybe it's donating your time, manpower and woman power. Or maybe you have access to materials and supply chains that are in high demand right now, and how you can be most helpful is allocating some of those resources to help health care organizations, hospitals, and workers.
Every little bit helps.