Amidst the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses and individuals are stepping up and showing their solidarity by offering their services and products to those badly affected by the crisis.
Here are some of the services being offered for free to support those struggling through the current crisis:
Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented youth, is hosting a free, live weekly webcast. Through Code Break, they’ll be sharing a weekly challenge to engage students of all abilities – even without computers.
“While most students may not love homework, they do love the chance to be creative and have fun on Code.org,” said founder Hadi Partovi. “Students can develop life-changing skills at home by making their own app or game and sharing it with family and friends.”
IOL, an edtech startup that maintains an advanced eLearning platform and creates online courses on accounting, business, and finance, is offering most of their courses for free during this pandemic.
“As part of our efforts to help learners and teachers cope up with the school cancellations, we are offering most of our courses for free during this time, said VEO Philip Gayao. “We also plan to upload our free Online Teaching course next week to help teachers learn how to teach online quickly using available online tools.”
Zoom, the massively popular modern enterprise video communications company, is giving K-12 schools their video conferencing tools for free. They’ve specifically removed the time limit from video chats using Zoom’s free service for any K-12 schools affected in Japan, Italy, and the United States.
“Given that many K-12 schools are starting closing, we decided to offer Zoom access to all K-12 schools in the country starting tomorrow… I told the team that with any crisis like this, let’s not leverage the opportunity for marketing or sales, said Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom. “Let’s focus on our customers. If you leverage this opportunity for money, I think that’s a horrible culture.”
CloudSwyft, a company with a cloud-based, technology learning platform for both enterprises and education sectors, is working closely with Microsoft Philippines to help its education customers and partners in on-boarding and setting up Microsoft Teams and CloudSwyft technology learning products for online collaborations and digital learning.
The company also plans to donate a portion of its revenues from their recent platform subscriptions from April and for the rest of year from customers in the Philippines to the Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, and the Ayala Foundation.
“Coming from a humble background right here in Manila, I’ve personally experienced how digital upskilling can improve your life,” said Founder and CEO Dann Angelo De Guzman. “I’m excited to offer more of these opportunities to millions of people across ASEAN, who can now learn the skills in most demand by the best employers across the globe, right from the comfort and safety of their own home.”
Hootsuite, a social media management platform, is opening up their pro-tools free-of-charge for the people who need them most right now to help engage on social.
“We have decided to give away our product for free, to help businesses and organizations coping with Covid-19,” said Ryan Holmes, Hootsuite CEO. “It’s so inspiring to see so many people and businesses pulling together in the face of the Coronavirus crisis. At Hootsuite, we’re committed to supporting our team, our customers and others affected, however we can. Stay healthy and stay positive.”
BlueInk, a company that provides an eSignature and Digital Document software service, is offering everyone its BlueInk For All plan for free for six months – until Sept. 15, 2020.
“In light of the tremendous economic impact to businesses and individuals resulting from the virus, it became clear that our company needed to do whatever it could to help,” said Faze Sharif, CEO of BlueInk. “Businesses and their employees are being confronted with the real possibility of working remotely and the expense can be prohibitive. Our team wants to do our part to allow for the interruption to be as minimal as possible, and help everyone during this time of hardship.”
Atlassian, a collaboration and productivity software provider, is giving educators free, one-year subscriptions to Trello Business Class, to help them stay organized and connected.
The company is also making its flagship cloud products available for free for teams of up to 10 people. This comes in addition to its existing free offerings for teams of all sizes, and the offer is not time-bound. The company has also launched a remote work hub where business teams can find resources like access to third-party integrations and advice on staying productive.
“While working remotely is the right thing to do during this time of social distancing, making the transition with little or no warning is unavoidably disruptive,” said co-Founder and CEO Scott Farquhar. “Virtually every familiar feature of office life – from the bulletin board where your team tracks work in progress to the whiteboard you use for brainstorming – has to undergo its own version of digital transformation.”
Salesforce, a customer relationship management platform, has made its collaboration offering Quip Starter available for free to any customer or non-profit through September 30. For health systems impacted by the coronavirus, Salesforce is providing free access to the Health Cloud. Their team has also created a publicly-available Trailmix on Trailhead with tips on how to work from home and maintain personal well-being during this time.
“We have amazing teams across Salesforce that are here for you.,” said Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s CEO. “This moment reminds us that we’re all connected like never before. We’re called upon to be our best selves, with patience, understanding and compassion. On behalf of all of us at Salesforce, we’re committed to being your partner and persevering together in all the days and years ahead.”
I Go Beyond Yoga, the largest full service yoga studio chain in the Philippines today, has been offering free yoga and meditation classes via livestreaming on their Facebook page since at least March 15.
“In these times of uncertainty, we need grounding… Since you can’t come to our studios for now, then we bring the practice to your home,” the company shared in a Facebook post.
Tone It Up, a fitness and nutrition company, has also opened their workout app completely free for the next month for new members. “With everything going on in the world right now, we hope you’re finding all the support you need to stay healthy and safe at home,” Tone It Up’s founders said in a post. “And in case you missed it, we wanted to do a little something to make this time for you, your friends, and your family easier ~ after all, self-care is so important right now.”
Bayview Park Hotel tells the Office of the Manila City Mayor it wants to offer 15 rooms for healthcare workers, as per a March 19 news report. The offer was made after Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso signed an executive order commandeering hotels and motels to provide shelter for healthcare workers.
Other hotels in Manila that have followed suit include Hotel Sogo, Eurotel HOTEL, Town and Country, UN Residences, and Dormitels.PH.
“We want to offer our hotel for health workers. 15 rooms for free. For our country and for the health workers of Manila.” – a statement from Bayview Park Hotel as mentioned in Manila Public Information Office’s Facebook page
“Hotel Sogo in cooperation with the City of Manila will provide you a temporary shelter for free. Because we value your passion and hard work to fight fearlessly in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Stay safe and stay strong! Keep safe everyone! We salute all of you!” the company announced on their Facebook page.
Eurotel posted a similar announcement through their Facebook page as well, reading “in support with our front liners, Eurotel Hotel will provide you a temporary shelter for free. Because we value your passion and hard work to fight fearlessly in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Stay safe and stay strong! We can beat this! We salute all of you!”