While businesses both big and small are facing unprecedented challenges due to the spread of COVID-19, that hasn’t stopped some companies from doing all they can to lessen the impact of this difficult time. From keeping employees on the payroll despite closures, to making generous donations, to organization helping to battle the virus, many spas and brands are stepping up and displaying the good will for which the spa industry has long been known, and they’re doing it in spite of the fact that they, too, are seeing their bottom lines plummet.
Although we’re all being encouraged to social distance ourselves, these companies are showing how we can all come together in times of need to help the larger community.
Technogym, with its headquarters in Cesena, Italy, is donating one million euros to support the much-needed purchase of intensive care units for hospitals in Italy. “In the emergency we are living, it is more than ever important to support our health system and the incredible work that our doctors and nurses are doing to stem the impact of COVID-19,” says Nerio Alessandri, founder and CEO of Technogym. “We are experiencing a moment of great uncertainty from an economic and social point of view. Great cohesion and commitment of all of us is necessary to manage the emergency.”
Working to support those affected by the economic fallout caused by the virus, Grande Cosmetics has pledged to donate a significant portion of sales to Feeding America, which operates a network of food banks that provide food to those who need it. Until March 31, 2020, the company is offering 15 percent off all online orders and will donate 15 percent of all order revenue to Feeding America. “I didn’t grow up wealthy, and I put myself through college working as a waitress,” says founder and CEO Alicia Grande. “I know what it takes to be in the service industry, especially as a salon or spa professional whose work includes touching people daily. I am grateful to those individuals in particular, as they helped me get my start in the industry. As I see many of them now suffering, I decided it was my turn to take action and give back—let’s help feed America together.”
Babor, a professional skincare brand, is also doing its part by launching a global solidarity campaign under the name #baborunited. The company has called on its partner spas around the globe to donate disinfectants and masks they don’t currently need to hospitals in their area. The Babor Flagship in Frankfort, Germany was the first to donate to its local hospital. “This united effort shows the incredible strength and compassion our partner businesses, who are themselves facing unparalleled challenges,” says CEO Michael Schummert. “We stand united with our partners and are supporting them whenever we can with strategies and inspiration to get through this crisis.”
Helping with the lack of masks, Non Gender Specific (NGS), Joos Cosmetics, and Waksē, three indie beauty brands, have each created donation pages for customers to donate N95 masks to any of the 7,000-plus hospitals in urgent need. Customers choose the hospital where they want the masks sent, and NGS, Joos Cosmetics, and Wakē take care of the rest, including the cost of shipping.
Wanting to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and relieve some of the economic hardship faced by the communities in which we live and work, The Estee Lauder Companies and its corporate foundation, The Estee Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation (ELCCF) has awarded a $2 million grant to Doctors Without Borders to help the organization continue its life-saving work around the world and respond to the coronavirus in under-resourced countries. The company, which is located in New York City, also provided a grant to support the establishment of The NYC COVID-10 Response & Impact Fund, which brings together various philanthropic partners in a joint effort to address the current health crisis. The new $75 million fun will provide critical support for New York City’s vital social services and cultural community organizations. In China, more than $800,000 was awarded to relief organizations, such as Red Cross Society of China, Shanghai Charity Foundation, and Give2Asia. Another $1.4 million worth of in-kind donations were given to the China Women’s Development Foundation to support front-line medical staff.
Sothys is also donating thousands of cherry blossom and lotus hand soaps to homeless shelters, nursing homes, daycare centers, and more. “I personally am supporting the Esperanza Center in San Antonio, which helps homeless teens in that city,” posted Sothys account executive and spa education specialist Nicole Curry Clark.
At Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary (Freestone, CA), nature plays a role in creating a healing environment. “We are hoping to provide health care professionals from our immediate area the opportunity to walk through and enjoy our meditation garden,” says general manager Thor Holm.
These are just a few of the companies that are stepping up to help in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Countless individuals are also doing what they can, such as Julie Michaud and Steve Pennypacker of Prettyology (Boston), a permanent makeup clinic. They donated a supply off masks and gloves to Newton-Wellesley Hospital. “We have an obligation to protect our sisters and brothers in the front line,” says Michaud. “They are the heroes trying to save humanity right now. Hospitals need masks more than we do.”
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