Bethesda donates $1 million to COVID-19 relief

The funds are earmarked for Direct Relief, UNICEF, and a variety of local relief efforts around the world.

Screengrab via Twitch.tv/Bethesda

Bethesda Softworks and its affiliates are donating $1 million to coronavirus relief efforts, the company announced today.

Bethesda will be splitting its contributions among various “front-line” organizations. The company said $500,000 will go to Direct Relief, $250,000 will be donated to UNICEF, and the remaining $250,000 will be contributed to various local relief efforts selected by individual Bethesda studios around the world.

Bethesda is a video game publisher based in Rockville, Maryland that’s published several notable titles, including the Fallout, Quake, and Elder Scrolls games. During the current stay-at-home orders, Bethesda is encouraging people to stay home, play games, and join it in donating to the pandemic relief efforts. 

“As we continue to stay home, we’re committed to finding ways to connect with our fans, fellow gamers, and local communities through our #BethesdaAtHome campaign,” Bethesda said. “We’ll be streaming from our home offices—and we’ll offer you the opportunity to help out the same charities we’re supporting. Check out Bethesda.net or our social channels for updated stream schedules, or tune in to Twitch.tv/bethesda.”

You don’t have to watch Bethesda’s streams to join the relief effort, though. Direct Relief, UNICEF, and dozens of other charities need financial and volunteer support to provide essential aid to communities all around the world.

Direct Relief is a non-profit organization designed to “improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay.” Direct Relief received a four-star rating from America’s largest evaluation of charities, Charity Navigator. You can donate to Direct Relief’s efforts by visiting its donation page.

UNICEF is a highly-reputable United Nations-sponsored organization who “works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.” UNICEF has been working closely with international governments to provide accurate information and support for the families and children whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to donate to UNICEF, visit its donation page.

Dozens of other video game companies have also stepped up to donate to COVID-19 relief. In March, Riot Games donated $1.5 million to L.A. based food banks and other nonprofit organizations to assist with the relief efforts. In April, Secretlab donated 400,000 surgical masks to various hospitals in the U.S., U.K., and Singapore. Global entertainment giant Sony donated $100 million to pandemic relief efforts.

This brief list only scratches the surface of the many companies in the esports industry that have stepped up to support the ongoing relief efforts.