I’m delighted to bring you this uniquely different #FourForApril today. All the stories are widely varied but equally fantastic in showing humanity’s kindness and sheer brilliance. From Lego making visors to protect Danish healthcare workers to the Scottish village making food available to those less fortunate and even the two million toy donation pledge from Toys for Tots, humanity’s giving nature shines once again.
Most remarkably, two of the world’s biggest medical companies are joining together to create a vaccine to eliminate COVID-19. While both have said it will unlikely be available until the second half of next year, this collaboration shows the sheer magnitude of how incredible the work that scientists do, really is.
Have a good day and stay hopeful 💚
Lego is making visors to protect Danish healthcare workers
Danish toymaker Lego has announced on Instagram that it has begun producing protective face masks for frontline healthcare workers in Denmark.
The toy company has modified some of its molding machines to manufacture the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in its Billund factory.
The simple design, drafted by Lego’s employees, was approved by representatives of Denmark’s healthcare sector.
They are currently manufacturing more than 13,000 of the face visors every day and are intended to offer an extra layer of protection between health workers’ eyes and those suffering from coronavirus.
Lego also revealed on its Instagram that it has donated half a million Lego sets to children in need.
Scottish village turns phone box into community larder
A community larder has been created in the village of Muthill, Perth and Kinross in Scotland in the most unusual of ways.
The small Scottish village has joined together in turning an unused phone box into a community support mechanism to help feed people through the coronavirus lockdown.
Many of the 675 people that populate the village have struggled to find access to food and other essentials, but two women have come to the rescue.
Corinna Robertson and Susan Crawford decided to work together in offering their support to the community.
Last week, they packed an unused red phone box with tinned goods, toiletries, fresh fruit and vegetables, and jigsaws and books and since then the phone box has been filled every day with items for the villagers to take as they need.
Recently furloughed, Corrina, 52, became aware of how many people faced the prospect of being out of work and decided to do what she could to help her local community.
Corrina said: “The response has been incredible. The local pub which no longer has income donated chocolate Easter lollies for kids.
“They’ve all just come together, it’s great community spirit.”
The friends are now considering continuing the initiative even after lockdown ends.
You can read more about this great community togetherness here.
Sanofi and GSK joining forces to create COVID-19 vaccine
Biopharmaceutical company Sanofi, and global healthcare company GSK, have announced that they are collaborating to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, using innovative technology from both companies.
While clinical trials are aimed to begin in the second half of this year, both have said that the vaccine will not be ready until the second half of next year.
Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi, said: “As the world faces this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that no one company can go it alone. That is why Sanofi is continuing to complement its expertise and resources with our peers, such as GSK, with the goal to create and supply sufficient quantities of vaccines that will help stop this virus.”
Development of the recombinant-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate is being supported through funding and a collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), in the US.
Emma Walmsley, CEO GSK, said: “This collaboration brings two of the world’s largest vaccines companies together. By combining our science and our technologies, we believe we can help accelerate the global effort to develop a vaccine to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19.”
The companies have set up a Joint Collaboration Task Force, which will seek to mobilise resources from both companies to look for every opportunity to accelerate the development of the candidate vaccine.
Considering the extraordinary humanitarian and financial challenge of the pandemic, both companies believe that global access to COVID-19 vaccines is a priority and are committed to making any vaccine that is developed through the collaboration, affordable to the public and through mechanisms that offer fair access for people in all countries.
The companies have entered into a Material Transfer Agreement to enable them to start working together immediately. Definitive terms of the collaboration are expected to be finalised over the next few weeks.
You can read more about this groundbreaking collaboration here.
Toys for Tots to distribute two million toys, books and games
Toys for Tots, has said it will distribute two million items across the US to families during the coronavirus pandemic.
The non-profit, run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, normally provides toys for needy families in the US around Christmas.
Toy collection usually begins in October and lasts until mid to late December with distribution in mid to late December.
Campaigns are normally conducted annually in over 800 communities across all 50 states, but with the limitations imposed by coronavirus, Virginia-based charity Good360 has ensured that can happen through its network of nonprofit partners.
The program will deliver two million toys, games, and books to families-in-need.
The non-profit has also had support from Hasbro, Lego, Disney, Funko, Five Below and Build-A-Bear.
The Marine Toys for Tots Program distributes an average of 18 million toys to seven million less fortunate children each year.
You can read more about this brilliant initiative here.
Tom Moore, the remarkable hero that we mentioned two days ago, has raised over £12 MILLION for the NHS. When we wrote about his challenge, he was on £1.7 million. Incredible, absolutely incredible 👏💚
On this day…
In 1862… The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia, becomes law.
Every day in April, we will be sharing four positive news stories in one post under the hashtag #FourForApril. Got any kindness stories? Send them in! We’d love the world to hear about these good deeds by good people 🙂