With a global health crisis taking its toll on the Puget Sound Region, Vulcan Inc., the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers are doing their part to make a difference in the community.
In his 2011 memoir, "Idea Man," Paul Allen wrote of his decision to purchase the Seahawks, "If I entered the NBA out of passion, I was called to the National Football League out of civic duty." That spirit of civic duty continued throughout Allen's stewardship of the team until his death in 2018, and it continues today through his sister, Vulcan Inc. and Seahawks Chair Jody Allen, and through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.
On Friday, Vulcan Inc. and the Paul G. Allen Family foundation, as well as the Seahawks announced plans to support the Seattle area's response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The support efforts include monetary donations to a number of local causes, a commitment to pay part-time employees affected by event cancellations at both CenturyLink Field and Portland's Moda Center, food donations, and support of local blood drives with Bloodworks Northwest. The Seahawks and CenturyLink Field have committed more than $700,000 to pay part-time employees affected by canceled events.
"We are all witnessing the impacts of COVID-19 and how it is harming the health, vibrancy, and economic well-being of our communities," said Jody Allen, co-founder and chair of Vulcan Inc. and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and chair of the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers. "We are thoughtfully assessing ways we can help mitigate some of these impacts, and we are grateful to the many health care workers, partners, local and regional authorities, fellow funders and business leaders on the front lines in Seattle and Portland. While we work as a community to respond to this crisis, we take seriously the shared responsibility to follow official public health guidance and be diligent in our social distancing during these challenging times."
To minimize the impact of this pandemic on Seahawks and Trail Blazers employees, the two teams have committed to paying their part-time event staff for any previously scheduled event shifts at CenturyLink Field and the Moda Center.
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is donating $500,000 to the Seattle Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund, and the Seahawks are also making a donation to that same fund.
The Paul G. Allen Foundation is also making a $100,000 donation to the COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund, a mix of public and private donations administered by ArtsFund to provide unrestricted grants to arts organizations negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis and its economic effects. The Fund will help enable arts and cultural organizations to maintain essential functions and retain core staff throughout the current public health crisis so that they are positioned to reopen when possible.
Additionally, Vulcan Inc. has committed $100,000 to support the Chinatown-International District, where the company has been headquartered since 2000. That money will establish a COVID-19 Response Fund to support locally owned restaurants in the neighborhood, which were among the first businesses impacted by the outbreak. Administered by the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Association (CIDBIA), the Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), and Friends of Little Saigon, Vulcan's contribution will seed and kick-off a public fundraising effort to support these neighbors. The response fund will deploy rapid cash grants through a simple, low-barrier application process. Vulcan will also match the first $25,000 of charitable gifts made personally by employees to the Seattle Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund.
Both the Seahawks and Trail Blazers are donating thousands of pounds of unused food from their venues to local nonprofit organizations, including a donation of 3,000 pounds of food from CenturyLink Field to local organizations like FareStart, the YMCA and Mercy Housing Northwest.
Earlier this week, the Seahawks supported a blood drive with partner Bloodworks Northwest to raise awareness for the need of additional blood donors (those looking to donate can find locations here).
The Seahawks also recently launched Seahawks.com/WeGotThis as a community space for those affected by COVID-19. People can go there for links to important community resources, ways to help others during these difficult times, and activities for children at who are home and out of school. The Seahawks are working on additional fun and engaging activities that will be posted to that site soon.