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Throughout this pandemic, I've been paying attention to how brands are responding and taking action. With so many businesses closing doors, it's been refreshing and uplifting to see companies find ways to give back to the community. Some have completely shifted their productions to create masks and offer services and resources free of charge. Others are implementing a give back model, directing funds to places and people in need.

But if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that we need this support more than ever—and every little bit makes an impact. Our frontline workers need PPE, communities need meals, and we could all use a little extra support when times get tough.

We've rounded up brands that are giving back and directly helping those in need during COVID-19:


These brands are giving back to local communities

  1. Vegamour: For every purchase, 20% of proceeds will be going to the LA Food Bank
  2. Cotidié: Donating 10% of sales to Houston Area Women's Center
  3. Rael: Donating 70,000+ organic feminine care products to Los Angeles Unified School District. (You can get 15% off $50 with code MOM15.)
  4. Billie: Donating $100,000 to food banks across the country
  5. Boll & Branch: Using 10% of each sale towards production of mattresses to outfit pop-up hospitals
  6. Etsy: Investing $5M to help local sellers continue to have steady sales
  7. Amy's Kitchen: Donated 150,000+ meals to food banks, sent 6,000 masks to local hospitals and providing meals to Bay Area hospitals, medical staff and first responders
  8. Peanut: Giving 20 free community postcards to spread support through neighborhoods (use code 'HERE4YOU' for free shipping)
  9. Tula: Made their Star Bright Hydrogel Masks 50% + donating 100% of proceeds to getting medical massk to NYC frontline health care workers.
  10. Mastercard: Commitment of $250 million over 5 years to support small businesses in the U.S. and other markets
  11. Netflix: Launched a $100M fund to help individuals in the film + TV industry who have been affected by COVID-19
  12. Spanx: Donating $5 million to directly help female businesswomen during the pandemic.
  13. Rothy's: Sourcing 100,000 non-medical masks to make a bulk donation, working to make masks and donating $20,000 to Direct Relief.
  14. Mum & You: Partering with The Hygiene Bank to distribute pallets of eco-diapers, wipes and toiletries to impoverished families who struggle to afford basic personal care necessities during this global crisis.
  15. Bed Bath & Beyond: $10M product donation in home essentials to communities suffering health + economic impact of the pandemic.

These brands are making new products to help the COVID-19 fight

  1. Dyson: Producing 15,000 ventilators called the CoVent
  2. Reformation: Partnering with the city of LA to make masks for essential workers
  3. Bazzle Baby: Using bib fabric supply chain to make face masks
  4. Tea Collection: Making masks from Spring/Summer material scraps to send to local hospitals
  5. Ruggable: Partnering with LAprotects.org to product and distribute masks to essential businesses In LA-area
  6. nununu: Free kids face masks in all online order + donating masks to those in need
  7. Love Your Melon: Created face masks + donating to those in need through a buy one, give one initiative
  8. Carter's: Shifted production to produce medical grade face masks + donating 200,000 masks to Atlanta Children's Hospital
  9. Jaanuu: Creating antimicrobial-finished face masks for adults and kids; one mask donated for each one sold up to 1M
  10. Nordstrom: Partnering with Kaas Tailored, Providence and Ascension to make nearly 1M medical masks.
  11. Kendra Scott: Donating its yellow branded bandanas + working with local female volunteer groups to sew masks for communities who have been largely affected by COVID-19

These brands are helping those directly affected

  1. Artifact Uprising: Free wedding reprints to support engaged couples whose wedding dates are being affected
  2. Persona Nutrition: Gave 1,000 3-month vitamin subscriptions to first responders
  3. Draper James: Gave free dresses to teachers across the country, who are now teaching from home
  4. Hanna Andersson: Donated pajamas to hospitals across the country
  5. Pizza Hut: Donating 250,000 personal pizzas + $500,000 in grants to educators through Read & Feed Program
  6. Stride Rite: Partnering with Alex's Lemonade Stand by donating all proceeds by cozy slippers to their COVID-19 Emergency Fund
  7. Johnson & Johnson: Committed $50M for immediate COVID-19 response, supporting frontline health workers.
  8. Sheetz: Expands free meal program to all 600 stores, providing meals to children in need daily
  9. Sun Bum: Donating thousands of hand sanitizers, moisturizers and personal care products to first responders, hospitals and those that are on the frontlines.
  10. AT&T: $5.5M commitment to feed first responders + offering free smartphones for life to first responder public safety agencies
  11. HIKI: Offering products for free to hospital and medical facility workers.
  12. Crocs: Donating a free pair of shoes to health care workers on the frontlines of COVID-19
  13. L'Oreal: North American manufacturing facilities producing alcohol-based hand sanitizer, donating personal care and hygiene products to Feed the Children, donating surgical + N95 respirator masks to local hospitals and providing relief for small businesses
  14. THINX: Providing health care workers with free period products from Wuhan, China to New York City.

These brands are offering free services + products

  1. Mental Health Technologies: Free online screening for anxiety and depression
  2. Headspace: Starting May 14, they'll offer free, 1-year subscriptions to all unemployed people in the US
  3. Chatbooks: Offering a free year of photo books for babies born during social distancing, along with a copy for a loved one through their newly launched Stork Series
  4. Gyminny Kids: Online services offer parents + kids free gym classes
  5. Upswing Health: Providing free telemedicine therapy for muscular/skeletal injuries (kids falling, sprains, etc.)
  6. The Riveter: Made their new digital platform free, a tool to connect with other working moms
  7. Hims & Hers: Working with Stephanie Owen, Licensed Family Therapist to offer free group therapy sessions to parents
  8. Japan Society: Offering free Japanese lessons to children of frontline workers

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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As mamas we want our babies to be safe, and that's what makes what happened to Glee actress Naya Rivera and her 4-year-old son Josey so heartbreaking.

On July 13, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department announced the 33-year-old mother's body was found at Lake Piru, five days after her son was found floating alone on a rented boat. According to Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub, Rivera's last action was to save her son.

"We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point in her journey. It was at that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water," Ayub explained, adding that Rivera's son was wearing his life vest, but the adult life vest was left on the unanchored boat.

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Ayub says exactly what caused the drowning is still speculation but investigators believe the boat started drifting and that Rivera "mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat but not enough to save herself."

Our hearts are breaking for Josey and his dad right now. So much is unknown about what happened on Lake Piru but one thing is crystal clear: Naya Rivera has always loved her son with all her heart.

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