50 More Ways the Triangle has Given Back during COVID-19

Local businesses, restaurants, and nonprofits continue to show their support for those who need it the most. Here are 50 more ways they are giving back to the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
by Katie Cusack 

Photo credit: Bob Karp

1. Activate Good and Art Intimacy are partnering to hold an arts, crafts and school supplies drive to support at-risk students in Wake County who might not have access to the necessary materials for a fun, creative, and educational summer. With schools closing, students from low income families can receive resources that they need without having to worry about cost or availability. artintimacy.org

2. The pandemic didn’t stop Alliance Medical Ministry from ensuring people had access to holistic, quality healthcare. Through the app Telehealth and other virtual resources, they provided everything from primary care and counseling to wellness programs for uninsured workers in Wake County. Pete Tannenbaum, executive director of the organization, explains,  “over half of our patients are diabetic, so we are literally their lifeline…with the healthcare system stretched to its limits, we want to keep them out of the emergency room at this time.” alliancemedicalministry.org

3. Ashley Christensen, the award-winning chef and owner of AC Restaurants, and the “Restaurant Project” launched by Haus Wine & Spirits, teamed up to create an all-natural apéritif inspired by Poole’s Restaurant100% of the proceeds going to AC Restaurants’ staff members. Show thanks to local hospitality by getting your hands on House x Poole’s Diner apéritifacrestaurants.com

4. Founded by 4-year-old “kidpreneur” Summer Skye Jeffries, the boutique party supply shop BalloonZ aspired to spice up the events of deserving companies. Through an Instagram giveaway, the US Postal service and the MOM Lounge won a specialty balloon install. Until July 17th, another lucky business can win one too. balloonZ.com

5. Raleigh’s beloved Bandit Flight Team gave Triad health care workers a thank you message they won’t forget. On the evening of May 26th, with six vintage military aircraft and their signature smoke salute, they performed a 20-minute “Frontline Flyover” flight over local hospitals where nurses, doctors and other staff could catch a glimpse of the tribute. banditflightteam.com

6. Along with their normal blood collecting and sharing operations, The Blood Connection is now offering free antibody tests to blood donors and is collecting FDA-approved plasma from survivors of the virus. These efforts could potentially reduce COVID-19 related symptoms and save livesif you have recovered, or simply want to donate blood, feel free to make an appointmentthebloodconnection.org

7. Carolina Ballet is offering patrons the option to donate the money from their show and season tickets to support artists and dancers. Rather than receiving a refund, patrons can fill out this form and choose for their funds to go directly toward financial relief for performers, choreographers, and staff. carolinaballet.com

8. Local nonprofit Carroll’s Kitchen has provided employment opportunities for women overcoming crisis in the Triangle throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, they have partnered with public health initiative Count On Me NC to instate safe training and health procedures in restaurants and food service. carrollskitchen.org/

9. Twenty-five local North Carolina artists are coming together to support Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, an independent music venue that has struggled to cover costs since the cancellation of its live shows due to COVID-19. In order to offer relief to the club, artists are releasing a collection of cover songs in Cover Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover to Benefit Cat’s Cradle as a digital album. catscradle.com

10. In late April, Raleigh brothers Dylan and Connor Clark saw a need for more comfortable masks and launched CopperSAFE Masks in an effort to help individuals meet the recommendations of the WHO and CDC. They have since donated $25,000 to the WakeMed Foundation, which will go toward the hospital’s coronavirus response initiative. coppersafemasks.com

11.Duke University encourages students to reimagine their summers so that, even in solitude, they can be as fruitful as possible. Take on a remote internship, start that book, or dive into an unconventional course—whatever it may be, get to brainstorming on their Keep Exploring page, which contains guidance, opportunities, and other resources about how to make this summer yours. duke.edu

12. While unable to meet their clients up-close, photographers such as Emily Ballard continued to capture smiles: this time, from people’s front porches. Ballard used her porch project as an opportunity to raise money for the North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund, accepting donations instead of regular photo session fees for portraits. To say she succeeded would be an understatementin one month, Emily raised more than $10,000 for the fund. emilyballardphotography.com

13. Two community fundraisers, Feed the Fight in Chapel Hill and Feed the Fight in Durham are sending fresh meals from local restaurants to healthcare workers battling COVID-19 head-on. Help them fuel the frontlines and support local restaurants by donating. If you’re a restaurant, sign up to assemble meals at no cost. If you’re a healthcare hero, sign your team up to get free meals. frontlinefoods.com

14. Friends of Wake County Animals ensured our furry friends weren’t left behind. The animal outreach organization initiated the No Empty Bowl Project, which provides emergency pet food assistance to pet owners experiencing financial need related to COVID-19. They have fed nearly 1,600 animals, helping many pets remain in their loving homes. Find out how you can get pet supplies or help them keep improving animals’ livesfriendsofwakeanimals.org

15. The South Durham craft brewery, bar and bottle shop, Glass Jug Beer Lab collected donations and non-perishable goods for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, one of N.C.’s largest food banks. In addition, they accepted cleaning supplies for the Durham Rescue Mission, the oldest homeless shelter in N.C.  Check out how you can help either organization keep up their honorable work by visiting their sites. glassjar.com

16. Athletic and outdoor-gear companies, Great Outdoor Provision Company and On Running Shoes & Clothing, joined forces to ensure that nursing staff remained comfortable while working endless hours on their feet to save lives. Combined, they donated 50 new pairs of kicks to local hospital nurses.

17. Habitat for Humanity of Wake County has been sewing around the clock to make protective gear. In the first four weeks of their work, they made over 350 face masks. They collected over $2,5000 in donations alone for the masks, all of which went to Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Adopt their #togetherwebuild motto and contributehabitatforhumanity.com

18. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced Hope4Healers, a new helpline for healthcare professionals in need of mental health and resilience support. The line can be accessed at (919)-226-2002ncdhhs.gov

19. Committed to making Raleigh all it can be, Innovate Raleigh and the Raleigh Chamber asked Raleigh residents to go #AllInForRaleigh by giving back to what makes the city one of the best places to live: small businesses. On June 8th, they announced their desire to double the $1 million grant from the City of Raleigh that would get local companies back on their feetclick here to help them meet this goal. innovateraleigh.com

20. InterACT, the only provider of domestic violence and sexual assault services in Wake County, remains a resource for individuals and families, free of charge. Their crisis counselors are available 24/7 via phone at 919-828-7740, as well as Monday through Friday during office hours online. Take a look at their other resources and how you can support them on their site. interactofwake.org

21. The Kenan Refugee Project, which provides community-based research and refugee advocacy through Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, created a GoFundMe page for resettled refugees in the Durham area. Based on each individual family’s needs, they are using the funds to put together boxes of groceries and essential supplies. Help them reach their goal of $10,000, or even donate your unused technology. kenanrefugeeproject.org

22. Home of some of N.C.’s most mouth-watering grinds, sides and fixins, Lawrence Barbecue has pumped out over 500 free meals for service and frontline workers since the start of the shutdown, 100 of those going to the staff at Duke Raleigh. While their curbside pickup is on hold, you can still getor sharea #welcometobarbecueparadise with comfy merch or a gift cardlawrencebbq.com

23. The world’s leading PC enterprise with global headquarters located in Morrisville, Lenovo has allocated over $13 million to give back in their strongest areas: supporting distance education, equipping hospitals with technology and personal protective equipment, and extending community support where their employees reside. Visit their site to learn more about how the funds have been specifically distributed. lenovo.com

24. Little City Brewing and Provisions Company, a trend-forward brewery and cocktail bar in the heart of Raleigh, partnered with Wine to Water to build care boxes for anyone laid off from the bar and restaurant industry. Each box contained over a week’s worth of meals and essential items for two people, and were distributed every Thursday and Friday. littlecitybrewing.com

25. Together with their customers, Locals Seafoodfounder of downtown Raleigh’s Locals Oyster Bar and a direct source of fresh seafood caught in N.C.’s bountiful oceans for restaurants, markets and grocery stores across the Trianglehas served more than 2,000 delicious meals to  service industry workers, Wake County School families, and healthcare heroes on the coast. localsseafood.com

26. Marshall Sandman, a young Raleigh native, launched an interview show on Instagram Live titled Spilling the Quarantea with Marshall Sandman. Starting on May 17th, the show featured a special week of interviews with Raleigh guests and raised money to benefit the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund. instagram.com/spillingthequarantea/channel

27. The Morning Times cafe offered a relief initiative for small businesses through coffee at the height of the pandemic. For every latte sold, they made a small business donation to support the local shops and businesses in Raleigh. morningtimes-raleigh.com

28. Learn “What Makes Music, Music” anytime, anywhere with North Carolina Symphony’s online, educational content. A digital broadcast of their Education Concert paired with user-friendly lessons makes it possible for anyone to master the musical elements. Listen to more breathtaking performances on their YouTube channel as well. ncsymphony.org

29. “Flatten the curve. Save the arts.” is the newly-established Durham Artist Relief Fund’s motto. Founded by Northstar Church of the Arts, the fund is partnering with the Durham Arts Council Arts Recovery Fund to raise emergency funds for artists who make Durham vibrant. Express your appreciation for the arts by purchasing a gift certificate from your favorite creative arts business or by making a donation to either fund. northstarchurchofthearts.com

30. Irish-American pub and restaurant O’Malley’s is working with Bridge the Gap Mission to feed the Triangle community. Through weekly donations, they have already provided over 600 meals to the nonprofit and strive to give more. To make a contribution or sponsor a meal, stop by or call 919-787-1234. omalleys.com

31. Dedicated to promoting and strengthening the artistic and cultural development of their area, Orange County Arts Commission began a fund for artists, art industry workers, and the organizations that give them a platform. To date, $41,450 has been awarded to 73 artists and seven arts organizations. They aspire to raise about $19,000 more for another cycle of funding. Keep the arts alive by contributing. artsorange.org

32. Thanks to funding from Hoffman & Associates, TradeMark Properties, and several other local small businesses, as of May 25 The Produce Project has been able to donate nearly 13,000 pounds of produce to displaced service workers—all on top of their regular weekly distributions of 500 to 1,000 pounds of free, fresh produce to hungry families and families of wounded veterans. Mike Shumake, founder of the nonprofit, said they felt compelled to act because there was “no warrant and no notice for service industry workers who were displaced.” Support them by buying a share of produce, donating, or volunteering. produceproject.org

33. For parents turned teachers, RAL Today compiled an extensive list of educational apps, websites, and subscriptions. Discover everything from cooking tutorials for the aspiring master chef and virtual laboratories for little scientists, to broadway shows and documentaries the entire family can enjoy. RALtoday.com

34. Raleigh Cleaning Company gave away disinfectant in order to promote safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. They offered relief for hundreds of citizens in the Triangle on April 25th by allowing people to drive up with their empty bottles and receive free refills on disinfectant. raleighcleaningcompany.com

35. Their denim has no limits: Raleigh Denim Workshop, a company that uses a mix of classic technology and innovative techniques to handcraft the perfect jean, introduced denim face masks to their collection. For each mask sold, two are donated to individuals in need. While they are currently sold out, you can download the pattern and watch a tutorial to make your own. raleighdenimworkshop.com

36. Multinational, open-source software company Red Hat is giving everyone a chance to invest in themselves and their teams. From free training and certification opportunities to conversations surrounding leadership during uncertainty, you can find various tools and expertise that address tackling COVID-19all bundled in one spotredhat.com

37. Stick Boy Bread Co. has partnered with the Pine Acres Community Center to help feed more than 1,000 children each day by providing 100 loaves of bread to the Community Center every week through their “Give a Loaf” program. Customers can also donate a loaf of bread for $3.50 to feed someone in the Triangle community. stickboyfuquay.com

38. Analytics software trailblazer and NC State alumni, Jim Goodnight, and his SAS corporation constructed a COVID-19 Data Analytics Resource Hub where you can access free virtual learning tools, virus outbreak models, their Business Continuity Management Program and more. sas.com

39. Shop Local Raleigh is still reminding us to #ShowSomeLocalLove whenever possible. All proceeds from their “Here for Good” t-shirtsmade by artist Paul Friedrich and Raleigh Screen Printwill help cover operating costs of small businesses in Wake County. shoplocalraleigh.org 

40. With their #ThankAFoodWorker campaign, Smithfields Foods challenges everyone to demonstrate gratitude for the “food superheroes” vital to getting food on our plates. Simply craft a post on social media with the hashtag and an appreciative message. They invite the public to unite with them in supporting Feeding America and their over 200 nationwide food banks by donating as well. smithfieldfoods.com

41. Raleigh-based, all day cafe Sola Coffee is serving first responders and healthcare workers a drink on the house every Monday. Currently, they are curbside onlyplace your order at (919) 803-8983 today. solacoffee.com

42. The customized fabric, wallpaper, and home decor marketplace, Spoonflower addressed the PPE shortage by launching the Mask Response Project: transforming their cut-and-sew facility into a mask-making production line, collaborating with the  Masks Now Coalition, and encouraging others to take action. They also added an array of unique face masks—from stylish to whimsical—designed by creatives all over the world to their collection. Stand out from the crowd and order a mask, or become a mask-maker yourself. spoonflower.com

43. SYSCO Foodie’s complete toolkit of COVID-19 recovery resources is helping our favorite eateries not just stay afloat, but bounce back thriving amid the new normal. How to market to the novel—and primarily digital—user experience, create a snapback business plan, or snag top recommended products are just a few of their many tidbits. foodie.sycsco.com

44. Thrift2Gift recognized that kids’ growth spurts are not on hold. To provide families access to affordable clothing while stores were shut down, the Christian nonprofit offered a “five for five” deal on children’s clothing: five tops and five bottoms for only five bucks. All proceeds go to missionary nonprofits that help families worldwide in crisisshop or donate to support. thrift2gift.org

45. Making dining safer and virus testing easier: TOURtech, a leader in innovative technology solutions in Wake County, is not only setting up temporary COVID-19 screening centers for businesses but providing laptops and other equipment for healthcare workers and restaurants. Check out their app that promises securely-recorded test results, and their touchless menus too. tourtech.com 

46. Even when their doors were closed, their arms were wide open. In alliance with Bridge The Gap’s  new food pantry, Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar in Morrisville and their staff gave over 15,000 meals to people in need and at local meal drop off and pick up sites. Their efforts have only just begunvolunteer to help them feed more. traviniamorrisville.com

47.  The philanthropic organization, Triangle Community Foundation (TCF), began about 40 years ago with merely $1,000 and a mission to see everyone in the Triangle thrive–since March 1, it has raised more than $5 million in donor-directed grants for hundreds of nonprofits throughout the region, and $450,000 in unrestricted dollars. In times like these, President and CEO of  TCF, Lori O’Keefe says nonprofits need “flexible dollars to pivot their services in real time and without restriction. The best thing we can do right now for our nonprofit sector is provide unrestricted resources as they continue to help our community.” TCF.org

48. Triangle on The Cheap, a website that helps people enjoy the treasures of the Triangle affordably, created various lists of tips and tricks to make adapting to the new normal easier. Among them are 100 screen-free activities for kids, shopping hours reserved solely for seniors at stores, and restaurants offering curbside and deliverytraingleonthecheap.com

49. Cat and dog store Unleashed is partnering with Models for Charity and the Friends of Wake County Animal Center to supply the “No Empty Bowl” project,  filling trucks with pet essentials for owners struggling to care for their pets because of the virus. Learn how you can be a part of the project, or help animals year-round on their site. unleashed.com

50. Specializing in fine embroidered home decor, Vibrantly Blue transformed their inventory. By repurposing dish towels, they were able to make filtered face masks for both adults and children. Purchase them now before they go! vibrantlyblue.com