San Antonio’s vibrant community is coming together to support each other during these difficult times. Here are nine local San Antonio businesses that are giving back during the COVID-19 outbreak
In the previous weeks, as COVID-19 unfurled in our community and typical life came to a halt, we have seen the generosity of our neighbors more than ever before. Together, as a community, San Antonio has found creative solutions to help our most vulnerable throughout Bexar County’s “Stay Home, Work Safe” mandates. Here are nine businesses that have donated time, money, and effort to our community during this time.
Frost Bank, whose headquarters are based in San Antonio, is spearheading the COVID-19 relief movement by dedicating $2 million for charities. This Texas-based bank is making hefty donations across the state, with the largest being a donation of $1 million to charities in San Antonio. Donations of $200,000 will be made in the Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston regions while other Texas areas such as Corpus Christi, Austin, Victoria, Permian Basin, and Rio Grande Valley will see donations ranging between $50,000 and $125,000.
Additionally, Frost Bank is giving operating grants to nonprofit organizations that are directly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, with total grant money exceeding $600,000.
Frost Bank has carefully chosen charities in each area who work in the health, human resources, arts and culture, and economic development sectors to receive these donations. This is the largest donation Frost Bank has ever made—even more so than toward Hurricane Harvey relief. Their dedication to the prosperity of Texan residents shines through their generous donations, and they are leading the way for other Texas businesses. Frost Bank Chairman and CEO Phil Green commented on the donations, saying, “Because the pandemic and the resulting shutdowns were unprecedented events in our state’s history, we felt that we, as one of Texas’s oldest businesses, should step up and make the unprecedented effort.”
This family-owned photography company understands how important it is to capture memories. Despite the current hardships, photography is an incredible way to cherish important memories, and although the typical pace of life has changed, we can still make the best of each moment. That’s why Hayward Gaude Photography is offering free photography sessions for high school seniors. Senior portraits are a trademark of graduating high school, and the pandemic has stripped this year’s seniors of many traditions. Between school closures, commencement ceremony cancellations, and a shift to completely remote education, much of academic life has been altered, but that doesn’t mean that seniors should be deprived of such a time-honored tradition.
Hayward Gaude Photography is also commemorating COVID-19 heroes by offering full signature studio portrait sessions to twenty local essential workers. Portraits for Heroes gift vouchers can be coordinated online, and photography sessions will take place at a later date once everyone is able to safely gather again. They’ve described this gift as a ripple, part of a larger movement that will hopefully add positivity to our community.
This beloved French café continues to provide for our community during this unprecedented time. In addition to ceasing all dining room services in lieu of curbside pickup and delivery orders, La Madeleine has promised to donate $1 to charities benefitting COVID-19 relief with the purchase of each cup of soup as a part of their #HELPINACUP initiative. All three of their homemade soups are delicious. Whether you grab a cup of their famous tomato basil, a rich bowl of their country potato soup, or a hearty serving of provençal vegetable soup, you can enjoy their delicious creations while directly helping someone in need.
If you’re hungry for more than simply soup, La Madeleine dishes up some of the best French-inspired cuisine in San Antonio, and with four locations in the greater San Antonio area, it’s easy to get your fix of French favorites. Their menu touts incredible French entrées such as chicken friand and chicken la Madeleine. Don’t forget to try one of their pastries and sweets like lemon blueberry danishes, chocolate almond croissants, and palmier cookies. You can also order breakfast all day long, so don’t miss out on a slice of quiche florentine of Lorraine or a Croque madame.
This supermarket giant has been a long-standing staple for San Antonio residents. H-E-B has made a significant donation to the San Antonio Food Bank in order to help provide relief for vulnerable San Antonio residents facing extraordinary difficulties during the outbreak. By transporting 24 truckloads of food across San Antonio and delivering to thirteen food banks citywide, H-E-B has made 500,000 meals possible. Each of the 13 food banks that received this donation is associated with Feeding Texas, an initiative to end hunger in our communities statewide. With 25% of San Antonio’s children being food insecure, this donation from H-E-B has helped alleviate the stress of worrying about where the next meal will come from. This is not the first donation that H-E-B has made regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Previously, the grocery chain had donated $3 million to nonprofits across the state in an attempt to help restock shelves when demand for necessities rose due to the pandemic.
Additionally, H-E-B is offering curbside pickup and delivery options for grocery items, which has helped at-risk individuals shop without worry. Pickup hours have been extended until 9 PM in response to the high demand. For items needed quickly, express delivery is available for some items and will be delivered to your door within two hours. Express delivery orders cannot exceed 25 items, but it’s a perfect way to get those much-needed items, such as diapers, bathroom tissue, and even one of their Meal Simple entrées for a quick dinner.
When COVID-19 moved toward the United States, hand sanitizer became one of the first sanitization products to fly off shelves. Amidst the chaos, Rebecca Creek Distillery has answered the call of demand by shifting its primary operations to create hand sanitizer for the community. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are crucial in the fight against COVID-19, and Rebecca Creek Distillery recognized its ability to quickly switch gears in order to help protect San Antonians. The first 16,000 liters of hand sanitizer produced were donated directly to first responders who needed it the most. Hospitals, law enforcement officers, and other frontline workers will receive bulk shipments of their hand sanitizers in 375 mL bottles, and, per FDA guidelines, each of their sanitizers contains 80 percent ethanol alcohol by volume.
Although temporarily closed, Six Flags Fiesta Texas has found ways to continue making life in San Antonio more fun for everyone. The park has recently made its second-largest donation to the San Antonio Food Bank in history. More than $20,000 in food, toiletries, and everyday essentials were donated directly to the food bank to help alleviate the stress of demand. Additionally, Six Flags Fiesta Texas is partnering with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center to provide free admission tickets to the park to all those who donated blood at the blood drive on April 25th and 26th.
For many students, one of the only secure meals of the day comes from school cafeterias. This unique and indulgent cereal bar known for their wild Rice Krispies Treats and colorful concoctions has stepped out of the box in order to help provide for San Antonio’s children. In March, they were able to craft more than 500 sandwiches for local students with the help of donations from their passionate patrons. In April, Cereal Killer Sweets made a donation of $1,000 to Thrive Youth Center, a local supportive shelter for teens in the LGBTQ community facing homelessness.
This restaurant has been a part of San Antonio for nearly 90 years, and their devotion to serving our community is more evident than ever. This Southern-style kitchen is known for serving up old-fashioned favorites like chicken fried steak and meatloaf. Although Earl Abel’s has moved to a limited menu during the COVID-19 outbreak, essential healthcare workers will be able to enjoy a homestyle meal served hot from the kitchen as they are donating dinners to area hospitals. They have delivered boxed dinners to three local hospitals and intend to contribute full meals to fire departments in the area. By feeding essential workers, Earl Abel’s is directly benefiting our frontline of defense against this virus. Online orders are still available from Earl Abel’s, so everyone can enjoy a heaping plate of fried catfish or refreshing kale and quinoa salad.
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