Valley businesses step up to help those experiencing coronavirus hardship

Above: The Arizona Hunger Advisory Council created a plan to combat hunger that calls for decent wages for workers, bolstering safety nets and food banks, and cultivating a regional food system. Business News | 23 Mar, 2020 |

When AZ Big Media decided to postpone its Real Estate Development (RED) Awards in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the company donated more than 400 meals that were scheduled to be served at the event to Valley nonprofits. That’s just one example of how Arizona businesses have stepped up to help others get through the hardships being created by the coronavirus crisis. Here are some others:

Diamondbacks Foundation donates $550,000 for relief efforts

The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation announced the donation of $550,000 to Arizona-based non-profit organizations that will immediately assist in helping those most vulnerable during the current national emergency.

“Over the past 10 days, we have watched the heroic efforts of so many Arizonans who are helping those in need – from medical professionals to local food banks and childcare operations that have opened their doors to those working long hours to keep our community running,” said D-backs Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick. “We are so grateful to be a part of such a special place and to be in the position to give back at a time like this.” 

“I’m so proud of our organization for implementing a plan that will provide relief to communities across the entire state,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “We have had many employees offer to volunteer at local food banks while still practicing social distancing, as each of them simply wants to help those around us. It is not just our civic responsibility, but our honor to be of service to our community during these challenging times.” 

The charitable contribution will be spread among numerous non-profit organizations that focus on emergency food supply and distribution as well as support for children of working healthcare professionals. The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and team will continue to monitor the situation in the event additional assistance can be made available, if necessary.

OneAZ announces $200,000 in emergency grants

OneAZ Credit Union and OneAZ Community Foundation have pledged to award $200,000 in emergency COVID-19 Community Impact Grants as part of their commitment to helping Arizona communities. 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19 may submit applications online beginning today.

OneAZ Credit Union and OneAZ Community Foundation are committed to supporting the local economy through several initiatives. In the last four years OneAZ has given over $397,000 to nonprofits statewide that make a difference in the quality of life for those who live and work in Arizona.

“We recognize that COVID-19 is impacting us all in unprecedented ways, and we’re eager to help nonprofit organizations sustain their operations during these uncertain times,” said Kim Reedy, CEO for OneAZ Credit Union.

The goal is to provide emergency funding for nonprofit organizations that serve one or more of OneAZ’s five key community focus areas, including (1) children’s health, (2) food banks, (3) financial literacy, (4) military, veterans’ and first responders’ interests, and (5) local youth programs. Applications by nonprofits with operations outside these five pillars will also be considered.

Nonprofits are encouraged to apply online, include a summary of how COVID-19 has impacted their operations and how the emergency grant funds will be used. Grants will be awarded in $2,000 increments with applications reviewed on a weekly basis until all $200,000 is awarded or May 1, 2020, whichever comes first. Prior grant recipients are eligible to apply for an emergency COVID-19 Community Impact Grant.

For full details and to apply for an emergency COVID-19 Community Impact Grant, visit  https://www.oneazcu.com/about/foundation/covid-19-arizona-grant/.

Gila River Hotels & Casinos donates $60,000 worth of food and supplies

On Wednesday, March 18, Gila River Gaming Enterprises, Inc. temporarily closed Gila River Hotels & Casinos – Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte and Vee Quiva due to the rapidly spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision came after heightened concerns for the health and safety of its team members and guests during the pandemic. The closure of all three properties will be in effect until the end of the month.

The day before the temporary closure, Gila River Hotels & Casinos received a delivery of $60,000 worth of perishable food items and made the decision to donate them to Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) elders and families. The Gila team worked around the clock on logistics to quickly expedite the deliveries.

The deliveries were executed in two phases: a dropoff of 20 pallets of water and 98 cases of toilet paper to GRIC’s office of emergency management, followed by a donation of $60,000 worth of perishable food items to members of the Gila River Indian Community residing within and outside of the community.

“I am so proud of our team members for providing help to our community during this difficult time,” said Kenneth Manuel, CEO of Gila River Hotels & Casinos. “It has been an honor to watch everyone come together, support one another and most importantly, serve those in need.”

Wells Fargo donates $100,000 to Greater Phoenix COVID-19 response

The Wells Fargo Foundation is making two $50,000 donations to Arizona Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley and FSL (Foundation for Senior Living) to support their community response to COVID-19 in the greater Phoenix area. The funding will help deliver critical relief to two high impact communities – workforce families with no childcare support and homebound elderly.  

The Arizona Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley plan to increase services to the local community in light of the hardships happening among the workforce who may not have childcare support, including (especially) healthcare workers’ children.   Select Clubs will operate (7am – 6pm) to provide support for working families and youth who need access to breakfast and lunch that their school provides daily.  

Foundation for Senior Living plans to continue to serve the most vulnerable and seniors with compromised immune systems during this uncertain time with COVID-19. The donation will fund food supplies and transportation costs to ensure home-bound seniors have the meals they need and deploy emergency staffing to ensure medically necessary services are delivered uninterrupted.

“Wells Fargo has truly stepped up for our community by making swift investments in protecting those who are most vulnerable, youth and seniors.  Every day we are serving families who need quality care for their children while they go to work during this global crisis.  We’re focused on families working in essential functions. Our Club staff have made the commitment to serve so those workers can keep us safe and healthy,” said Marcia Mintz, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley. 

“I am so moved by this incredible donation,” said Tom Egan, CEO of FSL. “We reached out to our community partners and told them that seniors are isolated, they are scared and they need food, supplies and they need to know that the community cares.  Wells Fargo has been a long time supporter of FSL and today they showed our community they care about our seniors.  Our team is working quickly to bring meals and food boxes to those that need it most”. 

“It’s important in times of community need that we work together, we are all in this together” said Lead Region President Don Pearson. “We’re grateful for the leadership of organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley and FSL for its ability to act quickly in caring for our local residents and to support the business personnel that are on the frontlines during this critical time. We hope our support provides a measure of relief as we stand with the community during this challenging situation.” 

This $100,000 donation is part of the $6.25 million in aid Wells Fargo announced earlier this month to support the domestic and global COVID-19 response.

“The Arizona Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley and FSL are delivering critical relief to two high impact communities. We stand together with these organizations in this time of crisis,” said Neal Crapo, Southwest Division Executive for Wells Fargo Commercial Banking and Board Member of the AZ Boys & Girls Clubs.

Bank of America helps clients experiencing coronavirus hardship

Bank of America today announced additional support for its 66 million Consumer and Small Business clients in response to the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus. The company is offering assistance to clients through its Customer Assistance Program and continuing to provide access to the important financial services on which these clients rely. 

“Our clients rely on us every day and for every aspect of their financial lives,” said Dean Athanasia, president of Consumer and Small Business at Bank of America. “We’re going to continue to provide convenient access to the important services they count on, and the additional assistance and support they need during this difficult period. Our priorities are taking care of our team and each other, and continuing to fulfill our fundamental role serving our clients.” 

Working on a case-by-case basis, as we’ve done in many other situations including the government shutdown and natural disasters, Bank of America’s additional assistance for clients impacted by the coronavirus includes: 

• Consumer and Small Business deposit accounts: clients can request refunds including overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds fees, and monthly maintenance fees.

• Consumer and Small Business credit cards: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees.

• Small business loans: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees.

• Auto loans: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.

• Mortgages and home equity: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.

• In all of these instances, there will be no negative credit bureau reporting for up-to-date clients.

• We have also paused foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions. 

All Bank of America teammates who work with clients are trained to identify and assist impacted clients and provide the right support to address their unique needs. Clients facing financial hardships related to the coronavirus are encouraged to visit the company’s Client Resources website and contact the client services team for assistance.

Bank of America understands the critical role financial services plays in the daily lives of individuals and small businesses, and is dedicated to maintaining reliable access to all of our capabilities, whether clients choose to manage their finances digitally, over the phone or in person. 

• Bank of America’s full range of banking solutions is also available through Online Banking and the company’s mobile app. These channels offer convenient and secure ways to check account status, pay bills, transfer/send money and deposit checks at any time and from almost anywhere. Within the mobile app, Erica, the company’s virtual financial assistant, is there to help.

• All of Bank of America’s 4,300 financial centers across the country have an external ATM with 24-hour access; approximately 3,000 (70 percent) have drive-up ATMs; and approximately 400 have drive-up client service representatives available to serve clients. Clients can use Bank of America’s interactive Financial Center and ATM Locator to sort and filter nearby financial centers to match their needs – whether that’s the closest drive-up ATM or financial centers open on Saturdays. Clients can also schedule an appointment to connect in person with one of our specialists.  

• For clients who prefer or need to visit a financial center, the company is taking proactive steps to protect clients and teammates, including enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each day and other measures to limit the risk of exposure, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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