How NM companies are giving back in response to coronavirus

By   – Editor-in-Chief, Albuquerque Business First

505 Southwestern
 is giving a care package to every truck driver that comes through its Albuquerque manufacturing facility this month. The care package includes a thank you letter, a gift card, 505 Southwestern products and a recipe book from celebrity chef Eric Greenspan. The company plans to give away 500 care packages over the next few weeks.


AIC General Contractor recently donated food, tissue and other needed items to SeniorCare LLC and donated food, games, puzzles and other nonperishable items to Mandy's Farm.

The Air Force Research Laboratory Tech Engagement Office is leading the NM COVID-19 Emergency Supply Collaborative to connect New Mexico medical and health providers with solutions and capabilities from across the state.

The Albuquerque International Sunport will be among more than a dozen North American airports joining together for the JetStream Music Festival, an online celebration of local music. Hosted by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the free, multihour livestream will take place at 4 p.m. MST May 6 on participating airports' Facebook Live. Each airport will feature a musician local to their city to support the creative community during the COVID-19 crisis, including Albuquerque's Leah Leyva.

American Home Furniture and Mattress will donate 200 twin and full-size mattresses to health care workers in need. The company noticed health care workers coming into the store seeking mattresses because they were setting up self-quarantine areas in their home. People can email the store and request a mattress, which they can pick up at the store the weekend of April 10-12.

The American Indian Graduate Center has committed $10,000 to create and distribute care packages to Tribal Elders among local communities in a partnership with American Indigenous Business Leaders. Each care package will include essential items like food, water and cleaning products.

Animal Protection of New Mexico is providing equine emergency feed assistance for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bank of Albuquerque's parent company, BOK Financial, has announced a $1 million contribution to support Covid-19 relief. The funding has been directed across the company footprint to programs addressing food insecurity and re-employment of laid off and furloughed restaurant and hospitality workers. The company is also providing assistance for its clients and employees. In New Mexico, Bank of Albuquerque has provided $60,000 in Covid-19 relief donations to three nonprofit programs: Feeding Families Fund, Pueblo Relief Fund and Emergency Action Fund.

Bank of America announced additional support for its 66 million consumer and small business clients through its Customer Assistance Program. The program allows many homeowners and small business clients the opportunity to defer payments on loans and consumers can request refunds like overdraft and late fees. Bank of America is also boosting pay for employees who are in roles that cannot be done from home, such as financial center and call center staff. Tellers are paid an additional $400 per month, and the bank is reducing shifts by two hours but will pay for the full schedule.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is contributing $1 million to address the needs of New Mexicans impacted by COVID-19 through the company's COVID-19 Community Collaborative Grant Fund. The All Together NM Fund will receive $500,000 to support immediate and long-term needs of communities, businesses and employees facing income insecurity. Roadrunner Food Bank will receive $250,000 to support food distribution and mobile food pantries for the general population and senior centers throughout the state. United Way of Central New Mexico will receive $250,000 to support agencies throughout the state that focus on areas like child and senior care, health care access, homelessness and housing.

The City of Albuquerque will provide free child care services to essential workers who need help for their kids ages 3 to 5. The service is an expansion on existing emergency child care programming being offered for school-age children at city community centers.

Del Norte Credit Union is celebrating "Giving Tuesday Now" by hosting a Facebook matching donation fund for four local nonprofits every Tuesday of the month. Del Norte has allocated $2,500 per nonprofit for Esperanza Shelter, Ponderosa Montessori, Las Cumbres Community Services and Youth Shelters & Family Services.

Dion's customers can now order Girl Scout Cookies. In partnership with Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Dion's is offering the cookies for purchase at Dions.com or with call-in orders at Albuquerque metro area locations while supplies last. The effort offers an alternative while the Girl Scouts' in-person and booth cookie sales are suspended during Covid-19. All proceeds will go to Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails.

Microlender Dreamspring is offering customers the ability to request loan payment relief during this time and has a list of resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Eye Associates of New Mexico, partnering with Roybal-Mack & Cordova, has started the NM PPE Project. Eye Associates is accepting unused surgical or yellow gowns, nitrile/vinyl gloves, N95 masks, surgical/procedural masks, sani or bleach wipes and sterile surgical gloves from homes, contractors or other closed medical offices to redistribute to local hospitals.

Facebook announced a $100 million grant program to support over 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where it operates. This is part of a broader effort to support businesses, especially small businesses, during the impact of COVID-19. The grants are initially available in the 34 U.S. locations where Facebook employees live and work. In Los Lunas, Facebook will award $125,000 to help over 30 local businesses. In partnership with the Albuquerque Community Foundation, Facebook is also offering a new grant program for Valencia County-based businesses experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. The funding can be used for payroll, rent/mortgage, utilities and other operational costs between March 1 and Dec. 31. Businesses with one to nine employees will be eligible to receive $2,500, and businesses with 10 to 35 employees will be eligible to receive $5,000. More details and an application are here.

Falling Colors, a Santa Fe tech company, have set up a foundation offering $900 bridge grants to 200 small businesses in Santa Fe County. The company has also helped sponsor a local art contest.

Farm Credit of New Mexico will distribute $11.8 million in cash patronage to stockholders by March 31. The patronage payment is based on each stockholder's average loan balance during 2019. This cash distribution effectively reduces member interest rates by about 0.75%, the company said.

Flying Star Cafe and Satellite Coffee are teaming up with the New Mexico Restaurant Association to help raise money for hospitality workers impacted by the COVID-19 business shutdown. They are selling one-pound bags of their locally roasted coffee beans at a 25% discount, and $1 from each bag is going to the Restaurant Association's Serving New Mexico Fund, which offers financial assistance to restaurant and hospitality workers facing unanticipated hardships.

516 Arts has launched Museum from Home: The Resilience Project, an online arts initiative, and invites artists in all media and disciplines to participate. 516 Arts is also giving $60,000 in emergency relief grants to local artists from its Fulcrum Fund grant program in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers donated $100,000 to area food banks. That donation includes $20,000 to Roadrunner Food Bank, $20,000 to benefit Jemez Pueblo, $20,000 to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, $20,000 to South Plains Food Bank and $20,000 to West Texas Food Bank.

Local online fitness company Group HIIT is offering free 60-day memberships to New Mexico families during the coronavirus.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released over $15 million in emergency grants to 16 New Mexico community health centers, Pueblo health centers and Urban Indian Organizations on the front lines of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local ticketing company HoldMyTicket has released a live streaming feature as part of its ticketing platform. The tool gives event promoters and artists the ability to live stream, sell tickets and reach an audience from their homes.

The All Pueblo Council of Governors and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center have established a Pueblo Relief Fund in an effort to meet the most critical needs of the 20 Pueblo Nations during the COVID-19 crisis. The initial investment into the fund was made possible by a $30,000 donation by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico. Donations to the fund will be used to immediately address supply and service needs of the Pueblos to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and lower the infection rate among tribal members.

Intel is donating 1 million protective items to health care workers from its factory stock and emergency supplies. The company is readying supplies it has on hand to send to state and local health authorities in Oregon, California, Arizona and New Mexico.

The Intel Foundation is donating $4 million to coronavirus relief efforts in communities where the chipmaker has significant operations, which includes New Mexico. The foundation is also matching donations made by current and retired employees between March 26 and April 10 for up to $2 million. The money for community organizations is directed to groups focused on food security, shelter, medical equipment and small business support, the company said in a statement. Matching gifts must also be made to organizations such as food banks, school districts and children's hospitals.

Juice It Up! waived royalty and marketing fees for its entire system of franchise partners in mid-March and will continue to do so through at least the end of April.

KOB4 has launched an online portal called Safe Start New Mexico to inform New Mexicans about the new procedures and protective measures local businesses are implementing in response to Covid-19. The new site also allows local businesses to share best practices and post pictures and video of their operations.

Lavu's Coronavirus Relief Plan offers free online ordering software to U.S. restaurants and free point-of-sale software hosting fees to customers worldwide forced to close due to the pandemic.

Los Alamos National Laboratory's online employee food drive raised $53,580 for the Food Depot, while Triad National Security chipped in another $10,000.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation has given multiple emergency response grants since March 16, including $5,000 to the Communities in Schools Emergency Fund; $5,000 to the Santa Fe Indian Center Response Fund for Native families in crisis; $5,000 to the Santa Fe Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund; $5,000 to the Los Alamos Community Foundation Nonprofit Emergency Response Fund; $5,000 to the Taos Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund; $5,000 to the Albuquerque Community Foundation and United Way of Central New Mexico Emergency Action Fund; $3,000 in Early Childhood COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants; and $10,000 to the NM Counts 2020 Collaborative Fund.

The Village of Los Lunas is hosting a virtual community planning event for children ages 5 and up as they learn at home during Covid-19. The hour-long program will run once a week for three weeks, focusing on what's important to municipalities, how planners shape the future of their cities and shared design exercises. The program will run from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays beginning May 6. Elementary age youth are encouraged to join on May 13.

Lovelace Medical Center has opened a Community Center Pop-Up Shop next to its cafeteria so its health care workers don't have to go to the grocery store after a long shift in the hospital. The shop is open seven days a week and is stocked with paper products, cleaning supplies, dry goods, produce, meat, bread, water and soda. Lovelace also donated an intubation box, high flow nasal cannulas and N95 masks to McKinley Christian Health Care Services Hospital for use in treating its influx of patients with Covid-19.

Pamm Meyers and Erika Yocom are producing a Zoom interview show called "3 Essential Questions," asking members of the Albuquerque community how Covid-19 has affected them, their business and their future.

M'Tucci's Restaurants, which furloughed about 200 employees due to COVID-19, is providing free meals for all furloughed employees and their families. M'Tucci's is also putting tips received from its takeout service into a fund for furloughed employees. M'tucci's is also providing meals to local hospital teams and first responders, and partnering with local businesses to pay for the food. And M'tucci's locations are fundraising on the restaurant's website through May 10 to provide free meals for Albuquerque and Rio Rancho nurses in honor of National Nurses Week, matching all money raised dollar for dollar.

Everybody Votes and Mulryan/Nash Advertising have teamed up to produce an online portal that lists all 39 Secretary of States' online voter registration portals as a resource while in-person voter registration options are limited during COVID-19.

Commercial real estate firm NAI Maestas & Ward has bought a portion of tenant Elixir Boutique Chocolates' overstocked perishable inventory. NAI Maestas & Ward has also committed to purchase lunch from local restaurants for those still working in the office (real estate services have been deemed essential under the state business closure order).

To allow people living in nursing facilities to remain connected with their loved ones, New Mexico's Aging and Long-Term Services Department has purchased and distributed 350 tablets across the state to licensed facilities. The department worked with Verizon Wireless to purchase the Samsung tablets and used Microsoft Teams videoconferencing and chat to help residents and their loved ones communicate during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the 350 tablets purchased by the department, the New Mexico Health Care Association bought 140 more tablets for distribution to nursing home facilities.

New Mexico Bank & Trust will commit $100,000 to support five local community initiatives responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The bank will contribute to the YMCA of Central New Mexico; Albuquerque Community Foundation/United Way of Central New Mexico - Emergency Action Fund; United Way of Santa Fe County - COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund; Santa Fe Community Foundation - COVID-19 Response Fund; and United Way of Eastern New Mexico.

New Mexico Gas Co. will provide $150,000 to the New Mexico Association of Food Banks to support food banks, food pantries and their hunger relief networks.

The New Mexico Local News Fund is making available emergency grants for journalists impacted by COVID-19. These are grants capped at $750 for assistance with child care, elder care, purchasing equipment needed to work remotely, food, rent or other unanticipated costs imposed by the pandemic. Journalism students with a demonstrated commitment to the profession such as a previous internship, or other journalism work experience are eligible.

The Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University, with support from New Mexico Gas Co. and the New Mexico Economic Development Department, is offering a BizSprint accelerator program online and free of charge. Participating businesses will receive mentoring, coaching and microgrants that can be applied toward business development. Applications are due April 20.

New Mexico State University students and staff are working at the Aggie Innovation Space to produce face shields for health care workers. Using a laser cutter, thermal press, sheet metal pneumatic shear and 3D printers, engineering students and staff have made more than 70 face shields that have been donated to MountainView Regional Medical Center.

New Mexico United will sell T-shirts emblazoned with the words "hard work." A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Serving New Mexico Fund, part of the Hospitality Industry Education Foundation. The fund offers financial assistance to restaurant and hospitality workers facing unanticipated hardships. Premier Distributing Co. and Michelob Ultra plan to match New Mexico United's donation, the club said.

Annamarie and Nicole Kapnison will provide local police, firefighters and medical personnel with free meals at Nick and Jimmy's and Mykonos Cafe during the coronavirus outbreak. The free lunch and dinner program will begin April 15, running Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Nusenda Credit Union has modified programs, including allowing members to skip a payment on their Nusenda Visa credit cards, ask for payment deferrals on auto, personal and equity loans, and explore mortgage payment solutions with its Mortgage Services team. Nusenda is also deploying its administrative campus food resources from the Nusenda Café to provide 300 meals per day to employees and partner organizations providing critical services. Nusenda has expanded its co-op capital program to help organizations in disproportionately affected communities with one-time operating grants or contracts.

The One Albuquerque Fund, a tax-exempt 509(a)(3) supporting organization for the city of Albuquerque, said it would make a $50,000 contribution to emergency housing to quickly move people experiencing homelessness off the streets during COVID-19. The fund also voted to allocate $50,000 toward the city's Micro-Business Relief Program, to support Albuquerque businesses that need assistance to overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

PNM will help pay electric bills for New Mexico customers whose household suddenly falls into low-income status after an employer cut their hours or closed due to COVID-19. The PNM Good Neighbor Fund will pay up to $150 toward PNM electric bills for low-income families through May 30 by calling the PNM Good Neighbor Fund provider at 505-967-8045. PNM has also provided 1,200 N95 masks to the Navajo Nation and more than 5,000 N93 masks to Albuquerque's Presbyterian Hospitals; expanded nonprofit grants by $200,000 for coronavirus impacts; and has tapped local businesses to purchase meals for fire, police and hospital workers. PNM also delivered 300 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to first responders at the San Juan Regional Medical Center and San Juan Generating Station.

The PNM Resources Foundation has awarded a total of $220,000 to 23 nonprofits for their work to increase community safety during COVID-19.

RK Venture, an Albuquerque creative agency, has partnered with Seattle emergency medicine physician Arthur Sullivan to create OneCoughCanKill.com, an online resource that aims to offer concise, factual information about the virus.

In response to need, Roadrunner Food Bank has set up mobile weekly food distribution locations that adhere to social distancing requirements.

RS21, an Albuquerque startup, has created a New Mexico Resource Guide. As part of an effort to help health planners identify urban communities especially vulnerable to a COVID-19 outbreak, RS21 created a guide that includes resources for families, businesses and individuals. It also created an Urban Health Vulnerability Index for numerous cities, including Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and Las Cruces. The index helps identify urban populations at high risk for COVID-19.

Rural telecom carrier Sacred Wind Communications signed the broadband and telephone service provider pledge to keep Americans connected for 60 days starting March 16. The company has also made available free educational Wi-Fi hotspots on the Navajo Nation to increase Internet access during COVID-19.

Sandia National Laboratories employees contributed more than $100,000 to Roadrunner Food Bank during a 15-day campaign that will help New Mexicans with food during the coronavirus pandemic.

To address food insecurity during the coronavirus crisis, Santa Fe Community College has launched a food distribution initiative in partnership with World Central Kitchen, led by famed chef and humanitarian José Andrés. Santa Fe Community College Foundation supports the program, which will help feed Santa Fe Public Schools and SFCC students and their families as well as the local community. SFCC Culinary Arts Program Chef Jerry Dakan coordinates meal preparation, assisted by Culinary Arts faculty and students. The partnership was developed by Robert Egger, a Cerrillos resident who serves as a food security adviser to Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber. Egger is a founding board member of World Central Kitchen.

Santa Fe Pro Musica has created a Musicians' Emergency Fund. It aims to raise $50,000 to support the organization's 55 contracted musicians, paying them what they would have earned for the Holy Week Baroque Ensemble program and Haydn's "The Creation," canceled by mandate of the New Mexico Department of Health. Pro Musica is asking ticketholders to consider donating the value of their tickets to the fund in lieu of asking for a refund. Donors have established a $10,000 matching challenge for cash donations to the fund.

In partnership with the New Mexico Restaurant Association and the New Mexico Hospitality AssociationSimply Design has created a directory, What's Open NM, for citizens to search for restaurants, breweries and other establishments that remain open while complying with the new mandates for takeout or delivery only.

Smith's Food & Drug, a division of the Kroger Co., will provide all hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates with a Hero Bonus — a $2 premium above their standard base rate of pay, applied to hours worked March 29 through April 8. The premium will be disbursed weekly. Kroger will also provide a one-time bonus to frontline employees, paid out April 3.

Southwest Generation Operating Co., which owns the Valencia County natural gas power plant in Belen, is donating 106 new computers to Belen High School to meet the technological needs of students participating in school from home.

STEM Boomerang, which aims to create opportunity networks for STEM professionals seeking to move to or stay in New Mexico, plans a virtual career fair April 30 highlighting opportunity in the space industry.

Studio Hill Design is giving away Zoom backgrounds from its own collection of images through a public service email campaign. The full series will include professional office settings, landscapes and graphic murals.

Taos Bakes donated nearly 17,000 products to Feeding America, Meals on Wheels and Red Cross of America collectively after a "Buy 2, Donate 1" campaign.

Taos Ski Valley Foundation, the New Mexico affiliate of Louis Bacon's Moore Charitable Foundation, has donated $25,000 to the newly formed Fund for Taos, a specialized action fund within the Taos Community Foundation dedicated to serving the community's needs during the COVID-19 emergency.

Team Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization, will help Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico distribute food packages to those in need. Team Rubicon has been helping Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque deliver food to area residences, and has helped deliver more than 2,200 meals people can prepare at home.

Santa Fe-based Thornburg Foundation announced $240,000 in grants to support nonprofit organizations serving the homeless, the hungry, children and families in Santa Fe and Albuquerque who are impacted by the coronavirus. The foundation accelerated annual grants to organizations and doubled each grant with a one-time operational increase in alignment with the Santa Fe Community Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund. Organizations receiving grants: Food Depot, Santa Fe, $20,000; Interfaith Community Shelter, Santa Fe, $30,000; La Familia Medical Center, Santa Fe, $20,000; Kitchen Angels, Santa Fe, $20,000; Communities in Schools, Santa Fe, $20,000; Esperanza Shelter, Santa Fe, $20,000; St. Elizabeth's Shelter, Santa Fe, $20,000; Youth Shelter, Santa Fe, $20,000; Roadrunner Food Bank, Albuquerque, $20,000; Heading Home, Albuquerque, $20,000; Adelante program, Santa Fe, $10,000; Family Independence Initiative, Albuquerque, $10,000; COVID-19 Response Fund, Santa Fe Community Foundation, $10,000. Later, on April 17, Thornburg announced an additional $250,000 in grants to four organizations: New Mexico Childhood Founders Group, New Mexico Farmer's Marketing Association, New Mexico First's COVID-19 efforts to address and coordinate emergency food and hunger needs; and NM Counts 2020's Census Rapid Response Fund, which conducts census outreach activities for hard-to-count communities with low self-response rates.

Tiny Census Concerts are entertaining and informing New Mexicans about the 2020 Census as they self quarantine at home. TCC is hiring roughly 40 artists to perform and promote the Census over the five-week series. Another dozen creatives work behind the scenes, which has created jobs.

Triad National Security, the management and operations contractor of Los Alamos National Laboratory, has pledged $50,000 to four local philanthropies to address emergency needs caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis. The Los Alamos Community Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Response will receive $10,000; the Santa Fe Community Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund will receive $22,000; the Taos Community Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund will receive $8,000; and The Food Depot will receive $10,000.

Albuquerque Community Foundation and United Way of Central New Mexico teamed up to deploy an Emergency Action Fund to support nonprofit organizations struggling with lost and nonrecoverable revenue. Other companies have made significant donations to the fund, including Nusenda, Sandia National Laboratories, U.S. Eagle, Wells Fargo and PNM. These 10 local organizations will receive $5,000 each: Albuquerque Center for Hope and Recovery, Boys and Girls Club of Central New Mexico, Endorphin Power Co., FUSION FUSION, La Plazita Institute, New Mexico Caregivers Coalition, Share Your Care Adult Day Services, St. Felix Pantry, Street Food Institute and Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico.

United Way of Central New Mexico has established the Feeding Families Fund: United We Eat to provide funds for agencies to feed families in their care. The agencies will buy the food from local restaurants. The fund will initially funnel donors' contributions to All Faiths, Casa Esperanza, CLN Kids, Endorphin Power Co., Haven House, Ronald McDonald House and St. Terese of Calcutta Soup Kitchen. An initial gift of $15,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico kicked off the fund, part of a $250,000 grant the company made to United Way for COVID-19 help. Longtime United Way donors Billy and Rachel Gupton and Lynn and Craig Trojahn conceived of and proposed this fund.

Veolia North America said this week it was in the process of coordinating delivery of 40,000 surgical masks to hospitals in New York, Houston, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, California and Canada. Albuquerque Hospital is slated to receive 2,000 masks, Veolia said.

Walmart employees in New Mexico received a bonus in their paychecks April 30 adding up to $1.4 million statewide.

Western Sky Community Care has partnered with New Mexico Appleseed by donating $250,000 to support children whose families have become homeless due to Covid-19. Children will receive iPads, mobile hot spot devices and wraparound services so they can complete academic assignments, connect with case managers and school homeless liaisons, and access virtual health services.