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Anchored in Alabama: Stories of Hope – Week Six

As API enters the sixth 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 continue to say ‘Thank You’ for your support of this publication. As always, we hope you find it uplifting.

Anchored in Alabama, Week Six

1. Sponsored by Budweiser-Busch, Mobile Restaurant Gives 500 Burgers to Service Workers

Loda Bier Garten, a Mobile restaurant on historic Dauphin Street, has donated five hundred meals to unemployed service workers during the pandemic. Voted the best burger on Dauphin Street, Budweiser-Busch Distributing, based in Loxley, sponsored the giveaway. The partnership, therefore, was a creative way for Budweiser-Busch to help out a local establishment while also giving back to the community at large.

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2. In Athens, Movies are Back with Drive-in Theater

Last weekend, Cinemagic Theatre in North Alabama hosted a drive-in movie night that allowed for both a fun evening out and physical distancing. This Memorial Day weekend, the theater is having another showing that will allow for physical distancing my limiting capacity to 50%, or 40 cars. What makes this story an even stronger example of free-market solutions is that the profits from last weekend all went to a local food bank.

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3. Nonprofit Offering Free Delivery of Groceries and Medications to Seniors

The Birmingham and Tuscaloosa chapters of the recently launched global organization “Leave It To Us” are offering free delivery of essential items to those 55 years old or older who are uncomfortable leaving their homes for fear of catching the coronavirus. The organization, which was originally founded in Tuscaloosa by University of Alabama student Michael Arundel, is a fully private 501(c)(3) and a great solution for those more susceptible to the disease.

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4. Two Alabama Children Send Letters of Encouragement to Neighbors

Jessica and Stella are used to doing kind things for their neighbors. The pair often waters gardens or gets mail for those out of town. When the pandemic hit, they knew they wanted to do something to encourage their neighbors. Instead of a lemonade stand, which was their original idea, they decided to write letters to their neighbors saying things like “Let us know if you need anything! Stay safe and healthy.” This is yet another example that Alabamians of all ages are working to encourage others during the pandemic.

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5. Birmingham Children’s Theatre is Providing Summer Camp at Home

Another example of local ingenuity and adaptability, Birmingham Children’s Theatre is providing summer camp at home, in a box. “Imagine Outside the Box Camp” is providing any child ages pre-k to 2nd grade who signs up a box delivered to them filled with all the materials they may need to create their own play at home. The box includes craft supplies, instruction sheets, story starters and more. One of the staff members will host a Facebook live video call to provide any type of inspiration that may be needed.

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6. Black Belt Community Foundation Provides Face Masks to 12 Alabama Counties

The Black Belt Community Foundation, sponsored by nationally organized “Until We Do It”, distributed 7,500 masks to black belt counties in Alabama. The masks, made specifically for individual use and not for medical workers, were spread across Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, and Wilcox counties.

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7. Alabaster Eight-Year-Old Sews Masks and Donates Profits

Lando Aldridge, an eight-year-old who lives in the Birmingham suburb of Alabaster, has already made around 300 masks using his family’s sewing machine. So far, he’s donated 40 to local healthcare workers. Most of them, over 250 in fact, have been ordered online with the profits going to the local animal shelter. Through Lando’s personal creativity, he’s already made and donated over $1,000.

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8. Initiative Feeds Over 4,000 Healthcare Workers

Frontline Heroes, an initiative started by Instagram-influencer and Birmingham local Lindsay Lutz, has provided meals to over 4,000 healthcare workers, law enforcement, and first responders. So far, over $24,000 has been donated by private sources to the initiative, which partners with local small businesses to offer the free meals.

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9. Church Sets Up “Blessing Box” with Food, Toilet Paper, and Other Items for Those in Need

Brunna Valley Baptist Church in Lincoln, Alabama, has set up a “blessing box” for those in need to pick up canned food, pasta, toilet paper, and other essentials during the coronavirus crisis. Yet another example of churches caring for their communities, Pastor Patrick Washington argued that, with all the layoffs and furloughs happening in his area, people needed help. One church member, Kathy Webb, called the blessing box “God’s vision for us during the pandemic.”

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10. 102-Year-Old in England Beats Coronavirus

Although outside the borders of both Alabama and the United States, this story from across the pond is worth including in this week’s publication. A 102-year-old British woman, who was, according to Fox News, “given less than two hours to live at one point after contracting the novel coronavirus” has beaten the virus and is now recovering. Her family credits hospital staff with saving her life.

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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 [email protected].

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