As devastating as Coronavirus (COVID-19) is, there are some bright spots. Consider this: With healthcare workers facing critical shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), Synchrony, a premier consumer financial services company, is leading a new initiative with businesses, consumers, employees, and non-profits called #GearUp that aims to equip frontline public health personnel and first responders in local communities around the country with protective gear.
What’s Being Done
1.Creating 3D-Printed Face Shields—Marshalling assistance from the technology, manufacturing, and philanthropic communities, Synchrony and the Synchrony Foundation—which supports communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic—is partnering with Stephens Direct and Protoduction 3D as well as global charity Brother’s Brother Foundation to produce and distribute thousands of face shields to serve communities in need. In addition, the company’s employees around the U.S. are creating face shields and face masks using its 3D printers and even their own. They’re sharing templates, providing coaching, and coordinating distribution.
2.Sewing to Save Lives—In collaboration with 14,000 small to medium-sized sewing businesses, Synchrony is encouraging its 140,000 “Sewing and More” credit cardholders to create protective masks, gowns and gloves. Cardholders who make purchases automatically receive a statement credit to help them defray the costs of purchasing materials needed to create the protective gear. The company is also teaming up with small business partner Jenny Pollard Nobile of Pollard’s Sew Creative to provide volunteers with sewing patterns and logistical details for handmade face masks.
3.Enabling a Network of Donations—Synchrony has donated thousands of face masks to hospitals and first responder organizations around the world. The company also enhanced its employee matching gifts program to temporarily triple employees’ donations to non-profits supplying PPE for health care providers and frontline workers as well as local food banks, matching employees’ giving 2:1.
In addition, Synchrony and the Synchrony Foundation have committed $5 million to support hunger-relief organizations and local communities in the wake of the pandemic.
What You Can Do
Be part of the solution by participating in the #GearUp program. Learn how at www.synchrony.com/gearup.html.
In addition, you can help protect yourself and the people you care about. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests taking everyday preventive steps:
•Staying home, especially if you’re sick
•Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
•Washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds
•Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
•Wear a cloth face covering when you go out
•Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
For more information, visit www.synchrony.com/coronavirus.