Microsoft, Amazon and other companies in the Seattle area are working with nonprofits and government agencies to launch a rescue fund to help deal with the new coronavirus outbreak. The fund is called the COVID-19 Response Fund.
Grants are provided primarily to organizations that help high-risk groups, such as workers who are unable to call sick, persons without health insurance and health care providers, to help them provide housing rental assistance, to ensure access to food for children, the elderly and families, and to support health care providers.
The founding members donated a total of $2.5 million. Of these, Microsoft and Amazon announced $1 million to the COVID-19 Response Fund, the Starbucks Foundation donated $250,000, with the rest coming from other partners.
In addition to donations to help, Microsoft, Amazon and other companies in Seattle have pledged to continue to pay regular wages to hourly workers who support their company’s headquarters operations, even if working fewer hours. These companies follow the advice of public health officials and ask employees to work from home as much as possible.