Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank pledged to donate $5.4 million to the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund which was set up to help people get through the virus and unemployment, per TMZ.
“As a Family Foundation, we have always believed that it is the power of many that will make the greatest impact on the most pressing issues in our society,” Blank said on Friday. “This is that moment — to join together to truly harness the power of all of us to address a challenge that knows no boundaries and has no precedent in our lifetimes.”
Blank also said he will give $100,000 to Atlanta’s public schools, $100,000 to the city’s police department, and another $100,000 to six other non-profits that will help provide food relief for those in the Atlanta region.
Blank who is also the owner of Atlanta United and co-found of Home Depot will also be making the same donations to his hometown of Montana.
Blank Pledges to Pay Employees
Blank responded to the problem quickly.
He pledged to pay all employees who work for The Blank Family of Businesses which includes hourly employees for the Falcons, Atlanta United, and any employees of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Falcons team president, Rich McKay spoke with The Athletic’s Jason Butt about the coronavirus and the procedures the team will be taking in response to the epidemic.
Butt reported the team’s decision to pay the hourly employees was ‘an easy on to make.”
“We’ve tried to over-communicate at a time where there’s no question people have personal angst and anxiety,” McKay said to Butt. “You’ve got to be empathetic towards it because it’s real.”
Matt Ryan’s Contribution
Atlanta’s local reporter for FOX 5 shared that Ryan’s donation will be equally distributed between two charitable organizations, Atlanta Community Food Bank needy and Giving Kitchen.
There have now been 555 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Georgia, according to Georgia Health Department. The figures show that 20 have died so far. Georgia has declared a state emergency for 30 days on March 14.
Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms put in place a temporary ban of large public gatherings to keep people and minimize the spread of the virus. If you are hanging around others there it is suggested that you sit or stand at least six feet apart from each other.
Nearly all the necessary businesses have closed for 30 or more days leaving millions unemployed. A curfew has been put in place that you can’t be on the streets past 9 P.M.
The Falcons family’s generosity will hopefully give some hope and inspire others to do the same.