Software, supplies and support: How we are caring for our communities during COVID-19


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As Jonah Espelita logged off from his TI computer for the day, he booted up another one: It was time to focus on his second job, one that would keep him working into the early morning hours.

From about 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. every evening, Jonah volunteered as a core developer and operations manager writing software that allows front-line relief workers to show contact-free digital passes and move smoothly through security checkpoints in Manila, Philippines.

The initiative, RapidPass, started with 100 volunteers who had technical expertise and wanted to contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts. It’s now an integral part of the government infrastructure. Nearly 230,000 quick-response (QR) codes have been issued to allow easy passage for vehicles delivering healthcare, food and other necessities.

Jonah is among many TI employees around the world who volunteer their time to support COVID-19 relief efforts. And as the world responds to the immediate and longer-term impacts of the pandemic, our company is supporting our employees and customers and caring for our communities.

“It’s amazing to see how much a driven group of volunteers from all around the country can accomplish in a short time while working on a common goal,” said Jonah, who works in Baguio as an application developer in our company’s IT group. “It’s possible to contribute in a very real and concrete way to help the front-liners risking their lives in this crisis, even when you’re stuck at home.”

Help where it’s most needed

Alexander Hoisl and Florian Carstens felt an adrenaline jolt when the emergency alarm blared from their smartphones in mid-March. Within 24 hours, together with a team of specialists, they needed to set up a delivery logistics system to distribute medical supplies throughout southeastern Germany.

The two TI employees had been preparing for this moment. They volunteer with the Federal Agency for Technical Relief in Freising, Germany, which provides organizational and logistical help in emergency situations.

“We help where it’s most needed, so that others can stay home and be safe,” said Florian, a test manager.

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Alexander Hoisl and Florian Carstens volunteer with the Federal Agency for Technical Relief in Freising, Germany.

From setting up drive-through testing to transporting critical medical supplies to hospitals, nursing and retirement homes throughout Bavaria, the organization has become a key behind-the-scenes partner for COVID-19 relief efforts. Alexander and Florian volunteer several times a week – often responding to same-day requests for help – supporting the expansion of hospitals, packing palettes with disinfectants and personal protective gear, or working late into the night to pack and sort goods urgently needed across the country.

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“TI is such a great employer — they have the greatest understanding and have been willing to move mountains to make my volunteering commitments possible,” said Alexander, an environmental safety technician in Freising. “This helps our communities stay strong.”

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Members of the National Guard helped the North Texas Food Bank distribute free food recently.

‘The demand for food is high’

At 4 a.m. on April 16, a long line of cars began to form at Fair Park in Dallas. In five hours, The North Texas Food Bank would be distributing free meals through its mobile pantry.

From mid-March to mid-April, the nonprofit fed more than 12,000 families. More than half of those families were new clients.

indian-woman-receiving-food-from-volunteersTo help with response efforts, TI and the TI Foundation have committed more than $10 million to COVID-19 relief efforts in communities where we operate around the world, including to organizations such as United Way, the North Texas Food Bank, and the Second Harvest Food Bank in the Bay Area.

“The demand for food is high,” said Trisha Cunningham, who is the North Texas Food Bank’s president and CEO and a former TIer. “People are living from unemployment check to unemployment check. We couldn't feed them without large-scale donations from companies like TI.”

The stark rise in hunger is being felt across the globe. In India, the nationwide lockdown has triggered vast hunger relief needs among migrants, daily wage earners and others. To help, TI India employees raised money for Akshaya Patra, a nonprofit organization that distributes free meals.

“We matched our employees’ gifts, and the total donation to Akshaya Patra will be close to $136,000 – enough to provide around 575,000 meals to low-income people,” said Aditya Salian, community relations manager for TI India. “I feel proud to work for a company that’s committed to supporting our communities through this global crisis.”

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‘We feel responsible to help’

To support the most immediate, critical needs in our communities, our company has given direct financial support and donations of personal protective equipment to relief efforts in Germany, India, Israel, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and China.

“Our factory has been an important part of this community for 35 years,” said Sunthary Valushamie, TI Mexico HR director, who spearheaded the local donation effort for personal protective equipment going to clinics, a doctors association and orphanage, and a cash donation to Cruz Roja Mexicana (Red Cross). “Our people coming to work here belong to this community, so we feel responsible to help.” 

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TI Mexico representatives presented Cruz Roja Mexicana (Red Cross) with a donation to help support frontline medical care for COVID-19 patients.

TIers across the globe feel the same sense of responsibility and commitment.

“There is a Chinese saying that when one area is in trouble, all sides will come to help,” said Erica Li, who is a member of our company’s security team in Shenzhen, China, and also leads the Community Involvement Team there. “Especially for an infectious virus, it is a hard fight for everyone, not just the patients or afflicted area. Let’s fight together and look forward to the day when our life is back to normal.”