Since committing $100 million to help communities across the world fight COVID-19, we’ve been working with our partner organizations on the best ways to maximize the impact of our funds, in order to meet needs ranging from procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) to supporting displaced students to helping micro businesses get back up and running. All this requires us to adapt and act with a high sense of urgency, and it’s an honor to work alongside so many others who are committed to the same efforts. Here are a few examples of our work to date:
- The very first commitment we made was to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to help find remedies to stop the spread of the virus. Witnessing leading scientists and physicians partner on this effort has been awe-inspiring, as they work tirelessly to find treatments to the virus. We also provided financial support for PPE and emergency supplies, so hospitals and medical facilities have the proper supplies to protect their workers and treat patients who have become sick with the virus.
- In India, we helped set up two funds to relieve the economic burden for gig workers and small business owners who were forced to stop working as a result of COVID-19. India’s informal sector accounts for nearly 85 percent of its workforce. These workers currently have little to no income and have been disproportionately impacted by this crisis. Examples of these small businesses are cloth cutting, mobile repair, welding and electrical repair, and package delivery where workers are paid by the task. These funds were set up to help people begin earning an income again.
- Across the world, students, teachers, and even parents have been getting used to virtual classrooms. We shifted some of our funding to ease this transition, specifically helping schools deploy quality distance learning materials. We’re also working with school districts to create a reopen plan for the 2020-21 school year that prioritizes more personalized learning experiences for students.
- Our Dell Young Leaders come to university from some of the most impoverished townships in South Africa. As the national lockdown went into effect, they were forced to pack up and leave campus immediately. We provided them with emergency funds and worked closely with them to ensure they were able to get home safely and securely, their basic needs were met while at home, and they were able to continue their studies online.
- Another very early commitment was to the AllTogetherATX Fund, an initiative through the United Way for Greater Austin. The fund supports organizations working with individuals and families who are disproportionately impacted by the virus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. Our funds are being used to ensure Central Texas families have adequate access to food, shelter, and child care.
We will continue to challenge ourselves to listen, learn, and think critically and creatively about using our resources to make the greatest impact for the people we serve. Whether it’s six feet apart, virtually, or with masks on, we are with you, fighting this virus and its impact together.
Keep up with us on our website where we will be sharing our ongoing COVID-19 work.
If you have a request for funding that is related to COVID-19, please know that we are committed to fighting this pandemic and its subsequent economic fallout. Our immediate available funding has gone to accelerating the development of therapies, increasing the supply of PPE in Texas, stabilizing small business, and assisting our portfolio of current grantees.