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Anchored in Alabama: Stories of Hope – Week Three

As API enters our third week publishing Anchored in Alabama, our team continues to be encouraged by the stories we hear from you and from local media. It is clear that our faith communities and businesses are stepping up to this challenge.

We also want to say ‘Thank You’ for your support of this publication. As always, we hope you find it uplifting.

Anchored in Alabama, Week Three

1. Pizza Hut in Arab Donates Pizza to Local Families

Families in the Arab City School free meal program on Monday were given their normally expected lunches and, thanks to the local Pizza Hut, free pizzas for dinner. Clear evidence of a helpful public-private partnership, the local Pizza Hut donated more than 100 large pizzas to these low-income residents that day alone.

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2. Dothan TV Station Helps Local Businesses by Running Free Listings for Business Hours and Practices 

WTVY, a Dothan-area CBS affiliate television station, is offering businesses a free listing on their website. On the site, local companies can post their hours and how they are operating during the COVID-19 crisis. This locally-driven and creative free market solution is just one example of neighbors helping neighbors in the Wiregrass.

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3. Residents Raise $10,000 for Mobile Corner Donut Seller

West Mobile resident Patrick, more often known as “Doughnut Man”, has sold doughnuts and water daily on a corner in Mobile since 2009. Local residents wanted to help him out during this time, and they wanted to do so by raising $10,000 to go towards an ice cream truck, which would get him out of the worst of the South Alabama summer elements. Thanks to the generosity of strangers, the campaign has raised over $12,000 in just three days.

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4. Non-profit Health Clinic and Church of the Highlands Offers Walk-up Coronavirus Testing

Christ Health, a Birmingham non-profit, and the Church of the Highlands, Alabama’s largest megachurch, teamed up on Saturday to host a walk-up coronavirus testing clinic to the low-income neighborhood of Tom Brown Village. This is a great example of the faith community actively pursuing those perhaps most vulnerable to the disease and lending a helping hand.

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5. Alabama Resident Creating Free Custom Headbands for Healthcare Workers

Erica Wells, an Alabama resident, is creating custom headbands to be given away to healthcare workers in her spare time. A friend of hers, a doctor who is wearing masks for 10-12 hours per day, alerted her to the fact that many healthcare workers end the day with faces that are “just red and beat up”. The headbands, she says, are a unique solution and a way to protect workers’ ears and save them from being an additional source of discomfort as hospital workers continue to risk their lives to save others.

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6. Alabama Veteran Donating Art to First Responders

Redline Steel, a Huntsville manufacturer of custom monograms and home decor, has donated more than $2 million worth of his products to first responders and essential workers. Colin Wayne, the CEO of Redline Steel, is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and his work, which has been bought by the White House itself, and his donation to frontline workers is an example of the generosity of many Alabama businesses during this time.

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7. South Alabama Printing Company Produces over 150,000 Face Shields

Calagaz Printing, a South Alabama printing company, has shifted its normal production of restaurant menus, table tents, and other items for national food chains to face shields that are available for both hospitals and individuals to purchase. This is a clear example of market demand creating new business opportunities for companies and private enterprises adjusting to these new opportunities.

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8. Billboard-Famous Alexander Shunnarah’s Law Firm Launches #UnsungHero Initiative

The law firm of Alexander Shunnarah, who is known across the state thanks to his numerous billboards, is highlighting essential workers who are keeping Alabama moving as many people are required to stay at home. Showing the generosity of many private enterprises, the law firm is giving out $50 gift cards daily to mail carriers, firefighters, police, trash collectors, grocery store workers, and others who are nominated by the public.

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9. Alabama Grammy-Winning Singer-Songwriter Hosts National Online Concert

John Paul White, a Florence native and half of the Grammy-award winning former duo The Civil Wars, hosted a free live concert and variety show on Sunday night that featured Rosanne Cash (Johnny Cash’s eldest daughter), Tom ColicchioMolly TuttleBilly Reid, and The Sklar Brothers. Partnering with Amazon Music, the event included a virtual tip jar by which viewers could support local artists whose income from concert ticket sales has been largely eliminated because of coronavirus-related bans on large gatherings.

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10. Birmingham Young Professionals Partner with National Corporations to Offer Free Groceries

Young Professionals of Birmingham has partnered with Sysco Corporation, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Stella Artois to offer free groceries to residents who have been laid off or furloughed because of COVID-19. This is yet another private partnership that has developed to aid those in most need.

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Anchored in Alabama is a weekly publication and selected news aggregate of the Alabama Policy Institute that is updated every Wednesday at noon until the COVID-19 crisis is over. If you know of a story that could be highlighted in this publication and would like to submit it for review, please email

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