Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many people have felt the need and desire to help. Whether it is supporting those locally or reaching out across the country, Tigers partners have stepped up.
This week, we take a moment to highlight our partners (Meijer, Molson Coors, AAA, Delta, Jeff Glover and Oakland University) and all that they are doing to lend a hand and express their gratitude during this difficult time.
On March 28, Meijer provided meals to its truck drivers in a show of appreciation for all they are doing to make sure that necessary products get where they need to.
"We're just trying to feed them, because it's so difficult for them to get food and relax and have a meal somewhere right now," said David Hoover, Meijer's director of outbound logistics. "They are going to drive regardless of the weather. They're going to bring us the products we need and we need to support them, especially in these critical times."
Once the event was announced, multiple vendors stepped up to help Meijer, one of which was The Smoke N’ Pig BBQ from Lansing.
"It makes me feel appreciated, it makes me feel like they appreciate what I'm doing and the sacrifice that I'm making out here, " said John Campbell, a Continental Express bus driver.
There is no doubt that the jobs of these drivers have not only become more difficult during this time, but the importance of ensuring the delivery of products is higher than ever, and Meijer wanted to show its support.
"We're just fortunate to have such a good group of dedicated people that are supporting us as we work through this unique situation," Hoover said.
Molson Coors donated more than 150,000 cans of water to truck drivers throughout the United States and Canada.
There were 50,000 cans delivered to national trucking company Werner Enterprises to distribute to their national fleet.
More than 100,000 cans of fresh water have been sent to breweries in Albany, Ga.; Elkton, Va.; Fort Worth, Texas; Golden, Colo.; Milwaukee; Montreal; and Toronto. As drivers arrive at these Molson Coors breweries for pickups, they receive fresh drinking water to help reduce the amount of stops for supplies that they must make.
“Truck drivers are the unsung heroes keeping America nourished and our supply chains moving during a time of great need,” said Michael Nordman, Molson Coors’ community affairs director. “While many around the country are sheltering in place, truck drivers are working long hours away from their families to keep our stores and pantries stocked.”
American Automobile Association partner Hertz stepped up to the plate to help New York City healthcare workers by providing free rental cars during the pandemic.
After Hertz received an email from a concerned customer regarding his fiancée’s commute to a New York City hospital, it knew it needed to do something. In the customer's email, he expressed that a rental car could give his fiancée a safer mode of transportation to get to her job. This email sparked a program that would offer a free rental car to many healthcare workers in New York City.
Hertz provided $2 million in vehicle rentals, to more than 2,000 healthcare professionals in the NYC area over the course of the program, and all available cars have been rented through April 30. As one intensive care unit physician assistant explained, the Hertz healthcare-worker program made her commute to work easier and safer.
“I work 12 1/2- and 24-hour shifts taking care of the sickest COVID-19 patients in our hospital," the physician assistant said. "A lot of us are working overtime, picking up shifts for sick colleagues, traveling to hospitals further away because they're in need. You've really made our ability to get to work much easier and safer so that we have more mental, emotional and physical energy to care for our patients.”
The thanks of this Physician Assistant were echoed by many frontline healthcare workers. But as Hertz president and CEO Kathy Marinello expressed, the gratitude goes to these healthcare workers.
“We thank her and all healthcare workers for everything they are doing in the fight against COVID-19 and for their trust in Hertz to get them where they need to be, safely," Marinello said.
Delta Air Lines, amid cutting nearly 40 percent of its flight capacity, wanted to help healthcare workers get to hospitals in need around the country. Delta announced that it would offer free flights to healthcare professionals that were voluntarily going to the front lines to fight COVID-19. In a statement released on Twitter outlining the program, Delta expressed its gratitude.
"We are grateful for the heroic efforts of medical professionals around the world as they combat COVID-19," the company stated.
The program supports medical volunteers flying to Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan and New York, and it will be offered through the end of June.
"Air travel plays a significant role in making connections in both good and challenging times, and our hope is that offering free travel gives more of these professionals the ability to help in critical areas of the U.S," said Bill Lentsch, Delta's chief customer experience officer.
More information regarding the program and who qualifies, is available on Delta’s website.
Jeff Glover, in conjunction with Glover’s Heroes, showed his real estate company's support and appreciation for healthcare workers across Michigan.
“We are so thankful for the nurses that are going above and beyond for our community," Glover said. "They are working in extreme conditions, handling stressful and emotional moments, and wake up everyday to do it again. They deserve this recognition and so much more.”
On March 29, Jeff Glover visited 25 hospitals across the state to deliver nearly 5,000 sandwiches to medical professionals as a sign of support and a thank you to those working around the clock during the pandemic.
In addition to delivering lunch to many healthcare workers, Glover’s Heroes is helping local nurses outside the hospital by providing home repairs and improvements.
Glover’s Heroes is a foundation with a mission to support those in the community that support us, including veterans, police officers, employed caregivers, nurses, firefighters, EMTs and teachers.
Students at Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine have found a way to support healthcare workers in a unique capacity. Students at OUWB have provided babysitting for the children of physicians, residents and any others working to combat COVID-19 at Beaumont Health.
In the first week of the babysitting program, more than 40 medical students volunteered to provide childcare to those working at the hospital.
While medical students have been taken out of the hospitals, their desire to help has grown. Third-year medical student Megan McCrohan, who co-organized the babysitting program, explained how quickly volunteers came forward and how important it is.
“Within the first hour, we had more than 25 students who said they were interested, which almost brought tears to my eyes because it was just so overwhelming that so many were willing to help,” McCrohan said. “I think it speaks a lot to just how genuine everybody is in our community in wanting to step up and help out in any way that we can in any situation. I think it’s really important that we can support physicians who are working extra hours and working very hard to fight COVID-19.”
During this trying time, the actions of Tigers partners to support those supporting us embodies the spirit of Detroit and of the Tigers. It proves as another example of how we will get through this together.