Mylan takes $1M gift to Sesame Street to help families cope with the pandemic

Sesame Workshop Elmo and family for Mylan donation
Mylan donates $1M to Sesame Workshop's family outreach during COVID-19 to engage through characters like Elmo and his parents. (Sesame Workshop)

Mylan is taking coronavirus support to Sesame Street. The generics giant's $1 million contribution will back Sesame Workshop’s campaign to help children cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's the pharma industry's latest philanthropic effort directed at pandemic relief and related causes.

The “Caring For Each Other” effort uses popular Sesame Street characters such as Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster, along with adult actors from the show, to explain tough topics and present playtime learning.

Mylan’s donation will fund digital content kits set to roll out this fall on digital channels, including YouTube and WhatsApp, and through local providers around the world in hard-to-reach locations.

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Pharma companies have donated millions to fund frontline worker support, food assistance, protective gear procurement and local disaster relief during the pandemic. AbbVie, Pfizer, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson, for instance, each pledged tens of millions.

The philanthropic efforts—along with testing, vaccine and treatment pursuits—are an opportunity for drugmakers to favorably shift individual company and industry reputations.  Tracking public attitudes about pharma, The Harris Poll found positive feelings about the industry are up by 40% since the pandemic began. Newsmaking pharma brands are getting the same kind of lifts individually, the most recent Harris polling shows.

Sesame Workshop launched the global initiative in March with content meant to help families stay physically and mentally healthy during the early days of the pandemic. The effort has grown as stay-at-home orders and ongoing fears continue to weigh on kids and adults.

RELATED: Pfizer, Moderna and Gilead's reputations climb on COVID-19 vaccine and treatment news: poll

The “Caring For Each Other” website includes videos with characters explaining different topics to kids, along with parent resources about how to talk to their children and a series of videos they can watch together. Fun and distracting activities like apps, printable coloring sheets and games are also available.

“Around the world, children and their caregivers may be experiencing a sense of loss, isolation, or uncertainty, and aligning our efforts with Sesame Workshop—an organization known the world over for its award-winning children's programming—to support families during this time of need provides a wonderful opportunity to help,” Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said, in a news release.

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