In the midst of hardship, uncertainty, and grief, it provides a sense of hope and a feeling of togetherness to see brands coming together during the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies, large and small, are transforming their everyday operations to deliver value where it’s needed most. It’s truly inspiring to see how brands around the world are stepping up to their purpose.

Supermarkets are opening earlier for senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals, local Kansas City companies like J. Rieger & Co., Restless Spirits Distilling Co., and 4 Hands Brewing Co. are producing hand sanitizer, and other companies such as Ford, Crocs, and Canada Goose are manufacturing PPE for frontline healthcare workers.

Companies around the world are finding innovative ways to utilize their talents and resources to make a difference during the pandemic. Purpose has always been an essential component in order for a brand to thrive, but now it’s being put to the test. Here are 3 examples of how brands are stepping up to their purpose.

Helping to feed others

Restaurants, food distributors, and chefs are working to fight hunger during this unprecedented time of need, and each living up to their individual purposes. To help feed children that are missing their school meals, Burger King is giving away 2 free kids meals with any purchase on their app. MGM Resorts has partnered with food banks and other organizations to donate 480,000 pounds of food, or roughly 400,000 meals, to make a dent in the fight against an empty stomach. Chipotle has been delivering free burritos to frontline workers as a small gesture of appreciation for their extraordinary effort. While many individuals and groups are doing amazing work to provide meals to others, it has been impressive to watch how The Rieger, a local Kansas City restaurant, has transformed into Crossroads Community Kitchen, to do their part to feed the community.

On their website, it says that they approach their work with the motto, “Beautiful Food for the People.” Their purpose is to provide food for the people and that’s exactly what they have accomplished with their innovative solution to continue using their talents, even after their restaurant doors have closed due to governmental mandate. The Rieger’s General Manager stated that it didn’t seem right to offer their high-end food service anymore, even if they worked out to-go and delivery options. Their food was going to be beautiful in an entirely new way.

Crossroads Community Kitchen invites family, friends, community members, restaurant industry workers who have lost their jobs, and of course their own employees to pick up a meal on a “pay-as-you’re-able” basis. Now that is “beautiful food for the people.”

Supporting frontline workers

Every day, health professionals, frontline workers, and emergency responders are living up to their purpose of contributing to the health and recovery of all patients in all circumstances. Brands around the world are supporting those healthcare workers in a variety of ways that range from small acts of kindness to the most innovative solutions. Facebook donated their emergency reserve of 720,000 masks that were saved for the California wildfires, and designer Christian Siriano’s sewing team is using their talent base to make more masks. Crocs is donating shoes to fill the gaps of personal protective equipment, and Anheuser-Busch has transformed from a beer company to a production line for hand sanitizer.

Anheuser-Busch says, “We’re more than just a beer company,” and they are proving that they are really stepping up to their purpose and aligning their actions with their mission. Their website states that “Anheuser-Busch is here for the times that matter. The moments where we celebrate, defy challenges, dream of the brighter future we are building today– and all the moments in between. We are a company that brings people together for richer conversations, sweeter celebrations and stronger communities.”

In addition to donating $5 million to the American Red Cross, Anheuser-Busch has pledged to use its supply and logistics network to produce and distribute hand sanitizer to places such as the American Red Cross. These are the “times that matter” and they are being “more than a beer company” by “defying challenges” and dreaming of a “brighter future” that they are helping to build.

The beer brand states, “We can’t solve this problem on our own, but we can play an important role. Our focus is taking care of our people, serving our communities in need and providing joy, comfort, and normalcy to everyone through our beloved brands. We will do these three things regardless of what tomorrow brings. Because we always have.”

Offering learning tools

With school doors shut and college courses moved to online learning, many educational organizations and institutions have shown their commitment to knowledge. Whether it’s free time on your hands due to a job loss, more nights than usual on the couch, or a disrupted learning routine, brands are stepping up to ensure that education is accessible for all.

From entrepreneurship, to Shakespeare, to computer programming, Harvard University is offering free online courses, alongside other prestigious programs. Online learning platform Udacity is offering free tech training to those that have lost their jobs due to Covid-19, with courses such as artificial intelligence, digital marketing, and product management. Moz is also offering its SEO courses for free for industry professionals or business owners who are trying to enhance their business under the current circumstances.

Scholastic announced that it has launched a free digital learning hub that is designed to support online education, which seamlessly aligns with their purpose of “empowering families, educators, and communities to build a better future for the next generation.”

Scholastic Learn At Home provides open access to daily learning journeys divided into four grade spans: Pre-K–K, Grades 1–2, Grades 3–5, and Grades 6–9+, covering ELA, STEM, Science, Social Studies, and Social-Emotional Learning.

How brands contribute to society today will affect our future and Scholastic understands that even though classrooms are closed, it doesn’t mean that education has to stop. By helping teachers figure out their new online classrooms, providing information for parents who are struggling to manage an at-home curriculum, and aiding communities who are looking for resources to align with current programs, Scholastic is doing their part to stand by their purpose.

Time Magazine says that “Americans have increasingly been looking to companies to be moral leaders that reflect their values. That sentiment appears to be, if anything, amplified during the outbreak.”

Brands are taking things into their own hands. Peloton Digital is providing free home workouts, Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees for independent restaurants to encourage local spending, and the Hallmark Channel is airing its Christmas movies a little early this year to spread some love and cheer.

What is your purpose and how are you transforming your organization?