Airbnb launches nonprofit to help essential workers, refugees

As communities around the world grapple with the devastating impacts of natural disasters and the pandemic, home rental service Airbnb has launched Airbnb.org dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis.

The company has committed 400,000 shares of Airbnb stock to support Airbnb.org, and co-founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nate Blecharczyk will donate an additional $6 million.

Airbnb.org will partner with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Community Organised Relief Effort (CORE) to support emergency response efforts around the world and help provide stays for essential workers and volunteers fighting the spread of COVID-19.

“Airbnb.org is a testament to our community’s generosity and the power of an idea that started with one host eight years ago and has transformed into a movement of compassion and hospitality,” said Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb and Chairman of Airbnb.org on Monday.

“Founding and supporting Airbnb.org allows us to double down on our efforts to help communities in need across the world in coordination with our partners, including the IFRC and CORE, to further amplify the generosity of our host community.”

From Australia to France, more than 100,000 hosts have offered to open up their homes and helped provide accommodations to 75,000 people in times of need.

Going forward, Airbnb’s Open Homes and Frontline stays programs will now be called Airbnb.org.

Hosts who support Airbnb.org by offering free stays or making recurring donations will receive a special badge on their profile to recognise their generosity and commitment to communities in need.

Airbnb said it will commit $1 million over the next two years to help cover stays for IFRC volunteers and staff and $1 million to CORE to support essential workers at COVID-19 testing sites and at future vaccine distribution centres.

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