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NBA players, celebrities and others who are helping those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Stephen and Ayesha Curry
Noah Graham

The COVID-19 pandemic has halted professional sports, prompted a growing number of states to ban dining in at restaurants and temporarily closed schools across the nation.

The suspension of professional sports leagues, concerts and other events puts thousands of hourly arena workers — those in charge of scanning tickets and selling refreshments — out of work. Widespread school closures means millions of kids could go without meals. And restaurants, bars and cafes are getting pummeled as the coronavirus forces social distancing.

Here's how celebrities, athletes, companies and others are stepping up to help those most affected by the pandemic.

NBA players are donating money to arena staff affected by the suspension

Last Thursday, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that he is committing $100,000 to support the staff of the Cavs arena affected by the NBA suspension. 

"Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming," Love wrote in a post on Instagram. He hopes his commitment will help alleviate stress and encourage others to support their communities.

Love's donation prompted a handful of other NBA players to follow suit, including Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons. He gave $100,000 to help compensate employees at Little Caesars Arena, where the Pistons play.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks also donated $100,000 to the staff at Fiserv Forum, where his team plays.

The New Orleans Pelicans' rookie sensation Zion Williamson pledged to cover the salaries for employees at the Smoothie King Center, where his team plays, for 30 days.

"This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis," he wrote in a post on Instagram. "This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community."

NBA organizations are also doing their part to support their staff. The Dallas Mavericks, owned by billionaire Mark Cuban, will provide full reimbursement to employees for breakfast or lunch purchases made from independent local establishments in the region.

The plan will also be available to employees at Cuban's other companies.

The Golden State Warriors are contributing $1 million for Chase Center employees.

Steph Curry, Jimmy Fallon and others are helping feed those in need 

After Oakland decided to close public schools until April, Warriors star Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha announced that their foundation would be donating to the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Feeding America to help ensure kids won't have to worry about where their next meal will come from.

"The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon made a donation to Feeding America and encouraged others to do the same.

Hollywood couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are donating $1 million to help older adults and low-income families. Their donation will be split between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada, Reynolds announced on Twitter.

NFL star JJ Watt, who plays for the Houston Texans, and his wife Kealia Ohai Watt, pro soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars, donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.

Companies are giving employees cash bonuses

Workday, a software company based out of Pleasanton, Calif., is paying its lower-level employees the equivalent of two-weeks pay as a cash bonus. Executives at the vice president level and above will not receive bonuses.

The company has about 12,200 total employees, plus contractors. It expects the plan will add $80 million in expenses in the first quarter.

Facebook announced Tuesday that it will give employees $1,000 bonuses as they wait out the coronavirus pandemic. 

Uber is delivering free meals to health-care workers and first responders

Ride-share giant Uber plans to deliver over 300,000 free meals to health officials and first responders "who are on the front line," Nelson Chai, the company's CFO, said on "Squawk Box" on Monday. "We're doing what we can."

The company also plans to waive UberEats delivery fees for small businesses in some parts of the country.

Don't miss: Mark Cuban: How to avoid layoffs and other advice for small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic

Check out: The best credit cards of 2020 could earn you over $1,000 in 5 years

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