Jessica Lewis, executive chef at Spirits & Tales in Oakland. Photo courtesy of Spirits & Tales.

COVID-19 brought business as usual to a grinding halt, but it couldn’t stop Pittsburghers’ passion for helping out in a crisis. Despite their own hardships, local companies and organizations big and small are reaching out to others in need. It just comes with the territory when you live in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

In the hope of inspiring others, here are some of the local businesses helping our community in a variety of ways during this crisis. Know of more? Drop us a line.

Together with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the TV station raised $1.2 million to help feed residents. The money was generated on April 15 during a virtual telethon called Project Community: Day of Giving. It was the largest single-day fundraising event in the channel’s 62-year history. Individuals can still contribute by texting “WTAE” to 50155 or going online.

412 Properties
The real estate agency donated 2,000 masks to essential businesses throughout Lawrenceville.

TABLE Magazine
The lifestyle publication launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise emergency funds for employees in the service industry in conjunction with Community Kitchen, a nonprofit focused on workforce development in the food service industry. So far, more than $25,000 has been raised.

DDI, a global leadership consulting firm, is supporting St. Clair Hospital by donating 1,200 face masks and 350 pairs of latex gloves to help control the spread of COVID-19. St. Clair Hospital is accepting boxes of unopened face masks and protective equipment, but not handmade face masks. Donations can be made by contacting Monica in the hospital’s Supply Chain and Materials Management Department at 412-942-1903.

Revive Marketing Group
During this crisis, businesses have to rethink their sales approach. Revive Marketing Group offers pro bono work, including communications, press outreach and strategic planning., a Pittsburgh-based digital shipping platform, is donating 100 percent of its profits from April and May to help the response to COVID-19. GoShip will be donating the profits to the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund, which provides support to rapidly emerging response needs related to COVID-19.

Baierl Acura of Wexford
Baierl Acura of Wexford partnered with North Hills Community Outreach to organize the food pantry and package meals. In just one week of fundraising, the dealership, a member of the Do-Good Auto Coalition, was able to donate 73 pounds of food to feed 45 families. On behalf of Lithia Motors, the team also donated $5,000 toward a $10,000 year-end goal. For several months in 2020, Baierl Acura aims to make cash donations for each new car sold.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Strip District Neighbors
The two organizations paired up to support small businesses with a new Gift Card Give Back initiative. The project provides an additional 25 percent bonus on every gift card purchased through the new website. Just five days after its inception, nearly 1,000 gift cards have been purchased, generating $90,000 in immediate economic impact. More than 65 businesses have signed up for the program, with new participants being added daily. Matching funds for this program are being provided by the PDP and Strip District Neighbors, with generous support from McCaffery, the Nina Baldwin Fisher Foundation, WesBanco, and HoustonHarbaugh.

Hop Farm Brewing Company
After a long shift, folks on the front line of the pandemic could use a beer. Lawrenceville’s Hop Farm Brewing Company offers $5 growler fills — that’s 64 ounces of beer! — to first responders and medical staff with proper identification.

Spirits & Tales
In addition to offering a takeout menu, the restaurant — located on the top floor of The Oaklander Hotel — also offers groceries. Medical personnel receive 50 percent off their grocery order. Customers who want to support these frontline heroes can purchase a $15 meal package for one person. Spirits & Tales will publish how many meals are available for curbside pickup each day on their Facebook page and website.

Edgar Snyder & Associates
The law firm donated more than $100,000 in television airtime to the Pittsburgh Foundation’s Emergency Action Fund and to United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s 2-1-1 helpline.

People’s Indian Restaurant
Located at 5147 Penn Ave., in Garfield, People’s has been offering meals to neighbors in need. Free boxed lunches of chicken curry, chickpeas and rice are available for pickup from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The eatery’s regular menu is offered for takeout and delivery by calling 412-661-3160.

The Vandal
The Butler Street eatery is working with Off Their Plate, a movement supporting independent restaurants and frontline workers, to keep hundreds of UPMC and Allegheny Health Network employees fed.

PPG Industries
PPG Foundation contributed more than $1.5 million to organizations supporting immediate community relief efforts and emerging recovery needs amid the COVID-19 crisis. PPG also increased its employee matching donations program in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to financial contributions, the company has donated supplies, including 80,000 masks, to hospitals in Pittsburgh, New York, Cleveland, Detroit and Huntsville, Ala.

Giant Eagle
Giant Eagle supports Feeding America’s mission to end hunger and assist those who may be food insecure during the pandemic. All Giant Eagle and GetGo registers double as donation posts. You can also donate through the chain’s no-contact curbside pickup and delivery service. Giant Eagle will match contributions up to $250,000. To date, the campaign has raised more than $1 million for local food banks. Additionally, Giant Eagle has donated $250,000 toward critical response fund efforts.

Photo courtesy of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group.
Photo courtesy of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group.

The PNC Foundation and Eat’n Park
The PNC Foundation donated $1 million to United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania to create the Students and Families Food Relief Fund, designed to support families struggling with food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. United Way will partner with Eat’n Park Hospitality Group to provide more than 250,000 meals targeted initially to school children and their families in communities that need it most. Earlier this month, Eat’n Park provided meals for 420 students in the Duquesne City School District and 4,000 supplemental meals to Pittsburgh Public Schools for students to take home for the weekend for their families.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
After getting clearance from the Ohio Department of Transportation, zoo staff members delivered more than 600 bales of homegrown hay from the International Conservation Center in Somerset County to the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio. The essential delivery fed 400 animals.

American Eagle
American Eagle, Aerie and the AEO Foundation contributed more than $1 million to COVID-19 relief efforts, including the donation of more than a million masks for public health workers. Additionally, the company has aligned with America’s Food Fund to provide people with reliable access to meals.

Duquesne Light Company
Duquesne Light contributed $500,000 to the Pittsburgh Foundation’s Emergency Action Fund.

Pittsburgh Steelers
The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania scored when the Steelers made a $100,000 donation to the organization’s Emergency Basic Needs Fund. On April 16, partial owner Thomas Tull threw a $4.2 million Hail Mary to local hospitals. The black and gold also partnered with Slice Out Hunger to keep area pizza shops afloat and feed frontline workers. Cornerback Joe Haden personally bought 600 pies from Sciulli’s Pizza in Oakland for the staff at UPMC Presbyterian.

Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates and Pirates Charities donated $50,000 to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to help ensure that the needs of local families are met during the coronavirus outbreak. The amount is equivalent to 250,000 meals. In March, players bought more than 400 pizzas and pasta dishes from Slice on Broadway and Pizzeria Davide and delivered the food to Allegheny General Hospital employees.

Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins teamed up with Duolingo to donate 35 laptop computers to Circles of Greater Pittsburgh, which distributed the devices to families lacking digital learning resources. Through auctions and sales of the “Welcome to Our Table” cookbook, a group dubbed the Lady Pens — which includes wives and girlfriends of the players — pledged $59,000 to local nonprofit organizations.

Want to help out? Check out our guide.

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.