Think of all the non-emergency things you need to get by as people socially distance themselves in an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19 — things such as food, medications, Wi-Fi, plus books and movies. Texas companies and organizations are stepping up to help people with all of those things.
Dallas-based AT&T is one of the major telecom companies participating in the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Since March 14, AT&T has been waiving late fees and will do so for 60 days. It also will extend service for customers despite their inability to pay their bill due to the coronavirus pandemic, a press release reads.
Other Internet and broadband companies such as Comcast are providing services for free and offering a new, low-income Internet Essentials package, which includes two months of free internet and raises the speed of that program’s service to 25/3 Mbps. Comcast wants to ensure that people stay connected as schools continue to suspend classes and more employees are working from home because of coronavirus circumstances. Additionally, there is free Xfinity WiFi for everyone through their hotspots, and there will be no disconnection or late fees for the next 60 days, just let them know if you can’t pay your bill for payment options.
If the job fair you were counting on has canceled, Amazon is hiring for full-time and part-time jobs, ABC13 reported. Also, through April, there is a pay increase for these employees by $2 per hour.
Here is a list of other companies hiring right now.
H. E. Butt Grocery Co. is creating temporary jobs for Texans across the state. The grocer has posted jobs that range in services such as day and overnight stockers, customer service assistants, checkers and baggers in San Antonio, Austin, Houston, also in North and West Texas.
H-E-B is also offering free delivery of prescriptions from some of its stores. Just call your local H-E-B pharmacy and request that your prescription be delivered to your home or work address.
In addition, H-E-B is giving $3 million for coronavirus community support.
Gulf Coast Distillers is repurposing one of its bottling lines to produce hand sanitizer, and you may see it on store shelves soon.
Another chemical company, Custom Chemicals and Coatings, is also creating hand sanitizer in response to the coronavirus threat.
Food and Aid
After the Houston rodeo closed, food and carnival vendors donated what food items were left to local nonprofits and the Houston Food Bank.
Also in Houston, some restaurants are supporting kids who need meals while schools are closed. Triple J Smokehouse is giving away free meals for kids, and other area restaurants are offering discounts on online and takeout orders, ABC13 reported.
Sixty percent of Austin public school students rely on reduced-cost lunches. Buses stopping at multiple locations in Austin are bringing lunch to them in response to the coronavirus outbreak and school closures. The meals will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, March 18-27.
Students from Hyde Park Schools in Austin who were planning to travel to Northern Ireland to do community service projects faced cancelations and ended up helping out locally. They went to the Texas School for the Blind, St. Luke’s on the Lake, and the Salvation Army to volunteer.
More Good Things
For Texans who need access to stories about public health at this time, Dallasnews.com is offering free access to articles about coronavirus.
Libraries in Texas offer access to their online and virtual services. You can access thousands of e-books, audiobooks and streaming videos. Check your local library’s website for details.
Some Texas athletes are giving to organizations that help those in need. Newlyweds J.J. Watt, a Houston Texans defensive end, and Kealia Ohai, a forward for the Chicago Red Stars, donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank.