Companies offering freebies, discounts amid shutdown

Amid shutdown, DC-area companies offer freebies, discounts

Companies offering freebies, discounts amid shutdown

This story will update with new offers. See a shutdown deal for federal employees? Email reporter Jory Heckman with details. 

The financial anxiety surrounding a partial government shutdown will become all too real on Friday, when nearly 800,000 federal employees will miss a paycheck.

The Senate on Thursday night passed a bill that would guarantee back pay for government employees affected by the shutdown, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made assurances that President Donald Trump would sign the legislation once it reaches his desk.

While federal employees are left with few safety nets in terms of immediate financial assistance, local business in the Washington metro region have offered free or reduced-priced services during the shutdown:

World Central Kitchen sets up shop Wednesday

Celebrity chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen nonprofit will offer free hot meals to federal employees affected by the shutdown starting Wednesday near in Navy Memorial in downtown Washington.

“We’re going to be open for any federal family that needs food,” Andrés said in a tweet Monday. “We will have food for you to eat or food for you to take home.”

Andrés chose the Navy Memorial due to its proximity to both the Capitol and the White House. The pop-up kitchen, he added, also serves a “call to action” for lawmakers and the president to end the shutdown as soon as possible.

The organization served more than 3.6 million meals from 25 kitchens across Puerto Rico last fall in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Starting this Wednesday 1/16, WCK opens our #ChefsForFeds kitchen and café for FREE hot meals at 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW near the Navy Memorial for all federal employees in need and their families.


Freebies for Nurses During COVID-19 ||

Companies offering freebies, discounts amid shutdown

For all I've accomplished in the last 15 years of my nursing career, I feel I deserve a free coffee every once in a while.

I have police friends that constantly receive free meals, donuts, and coffee throughout the community, and I always thought, “when is it the nurse's turn?” Well, my friends, it took a pandemic crisis, but we got our chance for freebies.

If you love gifts, it's time to receive one – you deserve it for stepping up during this crisis! We searched the internet and found everything from socks to coffee, all for free!

Note that several companies out there are donating PPE, money, and their generosity of time. These are mainly deals that give healthcare providers a little something to enjoy during this stressful time.

PLEASE NOTE: None of the below companies have paid for our mention of them or their offerings. We recognize this is a trying time for all involved especially nursesand we are simply trying to maintain a list of viable companies offering special discounts or freebie opportunities.

ALSO PLEASE NOTE: We at honor all the essential workers on the frontlines from healthcare professionals to grocery clerks to truck drivers and everyone in between.

Most of the deals in the piece are available to frontline healthcare workers, but as our website is geared toward nurses, that is naturally the focus.

Please know that we see you all, we honor you all, and none of us would be getting through this without you! READ HEALTHCARE IS A TEAM SPORT.

UPDATE: December 2020

With the recent surge in COVID cases across the country, some companies are now re-activating their discounts and freebies for nurses and other frontline healthcare workers. For example:


For the ENTIRE month of December 2020, nurses and other frontline workers can receive a free tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) from Starbucks.

According to their webpage, anyone who identifies as a frontline worker is eligible for this freebie, including doctors, nurses, public health workers, pharmacists, dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, law enforcement officers, dentists and dental hygienists, mental health workers (therapist, psychologist, social worker, counselor, etc.

), hospital staff such as janitor/housekeeping/security, military on active duty, contact tracers, vaccine and pharmaceutical researchers, pilots, flight attendants, TSA, and medical researchers.

National Nurses Week 2020

National Nurses Week 2020 kicks off on Wednesday, May 6, which is National Nurses Day, and wraps up on Tuesday, May 12; unfortunately falling amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, many companies and restaurants are offering special deals to nurses.

Pay close attention to regional or local deals in your neck of the woods, or peruse our deals below, which are updated daily and may not be specific to Nurses Day or Week (though we will notate when there is an expiration date on the deal).

We salute you, nurses – Happy National Nurses Week!

RELATED: Nurses Week 2020: What Nurses Want


DEAL ENDED. If you are familiar with Airbnb, you know that it is typically an online method of booking a place to stay on vacation. Hosts of Airbnb housing are taking a hit economically during this time.

However, Airbnb has turned their misfortune into a place for healthcare workers to “stay close to their patients and safely distanced from their own families.

” When you book a frontline stay, Airbnb will waive all their fees up to the first 100K responders invited to book until May 31, 2020.

Delta Airlines

DEAL ENDED. No, it's not a vacation. Delta Airlines is flying eligible medical volunteers round-trip for free to Georgia, Louisiana, and Michigan. Flights will be offered through June 30. More places are added weekly.


DEAL ENDED. Greyhound is offering 2 free one-way Road Rewards bus tickets to nurses, doctors, first responders, and morticians who are volunteering to help fight COVID-19 and need to travel to their volunteer site. Tickets must be issued and travel completed by June 30. For more details, visit the link above.

Hilton Hotels

DEAL ENDED. Hilton Hotels, in collaboration with American Express, is donating up to 1 million free hotel room nights across the U.S. to nurses, doctors, EMTs, paramedics, and other frontline healthcare staff who may need a place to sleep or isolate from their families during this pandemic. This offer will be good from April 13 until the end of May.


JetBlue Airlines is providing flights to help get medical workers and supplies to where they need to go to fight this pandemic. Visit the link above for more information.

Lyft Scooters

DEAL ENDED. First responders, healthcare, and transit workers can take 30-minute Lyft scooter rides for free through the end of May. This offer is good in the following cities: Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Metro DC, San Diego, and Santa Monica.

Marriott Hotels

Marriott Hotels, in collaboration with American Express and JPMorgan Chase, has started a new initiative called Rooms for Responders which will provide $10 million in hotel stays for doctors and nurses leading the fight against COVID-19.

Hotel rooms will be provided in impacted areas including NYC, New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C. and Newark, N.J.

The American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association will help Marriott match doctors and nurses with free accommodations at participating hotels.

In addition to this, Marriott has also launched the Community Caregiver Program to provide significantly discounted hotel rates to first responders and healthcare professionals who want to book hotel stays in close proximity to the hospitals they work in.

OYO Hotels

OYO Hotels and Homes is offering free hotel room stays in the U.S. to nurses, doctors, and other medical first responders fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. Valid, active medical ID required. Call (+1) 628-213-7020 (code: OYO4FIRSTRESPONDERS) to get a reservation for your nearest OYO.

Red Roof Inn

DEAL ENDED. Through May 31, Red Roof Inn is donating a limited number of available rooms to first responders including nurses, doctors, firefighters, police, and emergency medical providers. Call a participating hotel directly to book. Red Roof Inn also always offers a 20% discount to first responders. Find out more on the link above.

Spin Scooters

Spin is offering free 30-minute scooter rides and helmets to frontline healthcare workers including nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, and aides through June 30. This offer is available in multiple cities – see the link for more information.


Have you ever used Uber? It's a ride service most people use to go out for a night on the town and not have to worry about parking or driving home.

However, in times this Uber is offering free transportation for healthcare workers between patient's homes (for homecare nurses) and healthcare facilities.

Also, free rides for patients with Uber Health and free food with Uber Eats!

Wyndham Hotels

All essential workers who are Wyndham Rewards members (it's free to sign up if you aren't already a member) will be given a complimentary GOLD membership upgrade. GOLD perks include accelerated points earning on stays at Wyndham properties, preferred room choice, late checkout, and more.

BP/Amoco Gas Stations

DEAL ENDED. BP and Amoco gas stations are offering a 50 cent per gallon discount for nurses, first responders, doctors, and hospital workers to use on their next fill-up. Just verify your community status via to get a discount code to use at the pump (claim your code by May 7…see link for more details).

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels is offering a “Choice Cares” special rate for nurses, doctors, paramedics, firefighters, food/agriculture workers, transit employees, and others outlined by CISA guidelines. Up to 9 nights can be booked with the special rate.

Furnished Quarters

Furnished Quarters couldn't be more grateful for the work of healthcare professionals in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

They are also happy to be able to provide a place to call home during necessary travel – and at a significant discount, starting at just $89/day.

Temporary apartment accommodations are available in San Francisco, Boston, and New York metro areas. Follow the link above to fill out a reservation request and to find out more information.

Great Wolf Lodge

Nurses can also take advantage of Great Wolf Lodge's Howling Heroes Discount to receive 30% off between June 16 and December 31, 2020 – just use promo code HEROES.


Hotwire is offering an extra 12% off their Hot Rate® car and hotel deals to nurses, medical personnel, and first responders through June 30. Find out more at the link.

Motel 6

DEAL ENDED. Medical staff, first responders, firefighters, police, military, and emergency response teams can receive a 20% discount on a stay at Motel 6. Book your room for a stay through June 30 to take advantage of this offer. See the link above for more details including how to book.

RLH Coporation Hotels

DEAL ENDED. Book by May 15 and nurses as well as other essential workers can receive 50% off stays at RLH Corporation branded hotels (such as Red Lion, Hotel RL, Americas Best Value Inn, and more) through June 30. Follow the link above to find out more and book.


Sonder is offering 40% off private rental stays longer than 14 days to travel nurses. To check out Sonder amenities, available cities, and to book your discounted stay, check out the link above.

The Venetian Las Vegas



Deals and freebies offered to healthcare workers during National Nurses Week

Companies offering freebies, discounts amid shutdown

It’s National Nurses Week in the United States and the annual celebration of the front-line workers is more important than ever as they battle to save lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some companies are stepping up their efforts to honor our nurses by offering special deals and freebies to them from May 6 to May 12.

Many of the following offers were already in place for front-line workers prior to National Nurses Week and require a valid form of identification.


Chipotle: Starting on May 6, National Nurses Day, Chipotle says healthcare workers will be able to sign up for a chance to receive free burritos. It’s part of a special buy one, give one program.

Circle K: The convenience store chain is offering free coffee, Polar Pop fountain drinks and teas for first responders and health care workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. To get a free drink, you must show a valid ID.

Dunkin’: On May 6, Nurses Day, the coffee chain says it will offer a free medium hot or iced coffee and a free donut to all healthcare workers who visit participating locations, while supplies last.

Hooters: The restaurant is offering a 20% discount on all food takeout orders to all healthcare workers, first responders and military personnel until further notice. You must have a valid ID.

Krispy Kreme: Every Monday through May 11, Krispy Kreme says it will provide all healthcare workers free dozens of its glazed donuts. To get them, the chain says to go to a drive-thru and show your employee badge. There’s a limit of five dozen per healthcare worker.

McDonald’s: The fast-food giant is offering free “Thank You” meals to front-line workers through May 5. A breakfast meal includes an egg McMuffin, chicken McGriddle or bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, plus hash browns and any size soft drink, tea or hot coffee. The lunch/dinner meal includes a double cheeseburger, six-piece McNuggets or filet-o-fish, plus small fries and any size drink.

Mrs. Fields: The cookie company is offering a 25% discount on its “medical heroes” collection. They encourage customers to send the treats to your local hospital, doctor’s office or other medical location.

O’Charley’s: The restaurant chain is offering healthcare workers and first responders a 25% discount at all of its restaurants. It’s available for call-in or carry-out only and valid only with a valid badge or credentials.

Outback: The restaurant says all nurses, doctors, medical staff, veterans, military members and first responders can get 10% off their entire check with a valid ID.

Snickers: You can sign essential workers up to receive a free Snickers bar. They’ll receive an e-gift card redeemable at Walmart. And, for every bar sent, Snickers will make a donation to support first responders.

Starbucks: Since March 25, Starbucks has been giving out free tall coffees, hot and iced, to first responders and front-line healthcare workers. The company says it will continue to do so through May.


Adidas: The clothing brand says it’s offering a 40% discount to verified medical professionals, first responders, nurses and military members on its website.

Crocs: The company is donating free pairs of shoes to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. Due to high demand, eligible workers can “get in line” for a free pair every day on the Crocs website starting at 12 p.m. ET.

Nike: The sports brand is offering first responders and medical professionals in the U.S. a 20% discount on most items on You must verify you’re a front-line worker before receiving a promo code.

The North Face: Through the end of 2020, The North Face is offering healthcare workers and first responders a 50% discount on non-sale items on its website and company-owned stores in the U.S. A 10% discount is being offered on non-clearance items at the company’s outlet stores.


BP: The gas company is offering first responders and healthcare workers a 50 cent discount on each gallon of gas at participating BP and Amoco stations. You must verify your ID to receive your discount code.

Talkspace: Healthcare workers and first responders can receive free therapy through Talkspace. The company and its partners are providing 2,100 free months to doctors, nurses, social workers and front-line workers. To access the benefit, register with your NPI or work badge after downloading the Talkspace app.

This list will be updated as more deals are announced.


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