Sony Corporation established on Thursday a relief fund of $100 million to support those affected by the coronavirus, including assistance for frontline medical staff and other first responders, the company announced.
The “Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19” will support medical staff, first responders, children and educators who are now schooling remotely and finally aid those out of work within the creative and entertainment communities.
$10 million will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO powered by the UN Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, as well as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to assist medical workers and others on the frontline of response efforts to the virus. Sony will also work with its external partners to explore ways that it can support activities that prevent the further spread and contribute to treatment of the COVID-19 virus.
Sony Corp. will also be working with educators to implement technological solutions for working from home and will support up-and-coming creators and artists whose income was lost due to the cancellation or postponement of concerts or live events.
Sony also announced that employees will be able to provide their support through a matching gift program that is scheduled to be offered to its approximately 110,000 employees worldwide.
“Sony extends its condolences to the families of those who have passed away as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and extends its sympathies to all those who have been impacted. In order to overcome the unprecedented challenges that as a society we now face around the world, we will do all we can as a global company to support the individuals on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, the children who are our future, and those who have been impacted in the creative community,” Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony Corporation, said in a statement.
Tony Vinciquerra, the chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, followed up Yoshida’s announcement by issuing a letter to staff obtained by TheWrap, which you can read below:
I wanted to share some positive and important news from Sony Corp about the establishment of a $100 million Global Relief Fund to provide support for many of those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. I’ve included the press release Sony issued earlier today below.
As you can see, the fund will provide assistance in three main areas: medical professionals and first responders who are on the front lines; education efforts for children who are now attempting to learn at home; and support for those in the entertainment industry, which, like many other industries, has been greatly impacted by the closure of theaters and film and television productions being shut down around the world.
In addition, Sony has also announced a matching gift program that will be offered to all Sony employees. This is great news as I have heard from many of you over the last couple weeks looking for the best way to contribute.
Our Corporate Social Responsibility team is working closely with Sony Corp to determine the best path forward for distributing funds in the entertainment space. As you have all seen, the need for support during this crisis is unprecedented, and we are exploring several options, looking for ideas – with existing relief organizations, SPE partners, and our own executives internally – to determine what will have the most meaningful impact. We will update everyone as soon as possible on our distribution plans and how employees can participate in the matching gift program.
I want to thank Yoshida-san and the leadership at Sony for establishing this important fund that will provide broad support across so many communities in need.
I again want to thank you all at SPE for moving our businesses forward in the face of these incredible challenges.
Please stay safe.