Special Report: The City in the Time of Covid19
We are all in this together.
Instead of bridal gowns Heidi Elnora was thinking about face masks. Moved by the plight of nurses, doctors, and medical workers hampered by a lack of gowns, masks and other protective equipment, she organized an effort to put seamstresses to work creating masks that could be donated to the medical workers in need.
While not medical-grade masks, Elnora hopes they can help.
Help. That is a defining goal for these times.
The examples are all around.
McDonald’s restaurants (franchises owned by the Valluzzo Companies) offered free meals to uniformed first responders to help in their efforts as they go about the business of saving lives.
The Jefferson County Department of Health collected personal protection equipment (PPE) at the Christian Service Mission Warehouse including N95 masks, surgical masks, isolation gowns, gloves, face shields, sterile specimen collection swabs, and hand sanitizer.
They also accepted home-made face masks and gowns that will be used by local health care workers, first responders and others on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.
A group of local Birmingham bloggers and digital creators used their platforms and teamed up to give back. Their initiative, Frontline Heroes, provided meals to healthcare workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic at Birmingham area hospitals.
“I was looking for a way to give back in our community and came across a blogger in Houston, TX collecting donations to give back to her local medical teams. I instantly thought that I could do this in Birmingham and recruit others with influence to use our platforms for the greater good. A quick group text later and dozens of “let’s do it,” we had a whole concept and logo ready to go. It’s amazing to see us all come together so quickly to give back,” says Lindsey Lutz the leader of Frontline Heroes, local Vestavia resident, and creator behind the digital platform, Life Lutzurious.
The initiative began with local meal prep company, Fit Five Meals. Their individually packaged meals were perfect for Frontline Heroes. These meals are prepped and cooked by the Fit Five Meals team. “At this time, our team want to support the city that has given so much to us. We will be extra cautious and take extreme measures when preparing this food for the real heroes in Birmingham,” says Paul Shunnarah, founder of Fit Five Meals. Their meals will be delivered to the COVID-19 floor at UAB Highlands and UAB Main.
The Summit has partnered up with several of the restaurants on its property to give back to Frontline Heroes.
“As soon as our team heard about this initiative, we immediately agreed to aid in a collaborative effort through the restaurants at The Summit. After discussing the effort with our restaurants, we are hoping to provide at least 300 meals for our frontline workers. The Summit will also be making a donation towards the initiative to help increase the amount of meals Frontline Heroes will be distributing. We are honored to be a part of giving back to our community.” said Carver Boynton, General Manager of The Summit.
A wide array of businesses and organizations, large and small, banded together to create #BhamStrong in order to coordinate and aid in the city’s response to the crisis. Partners included the City of Birmingham, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, United Way, Shipt, Birmingham Business Resource Center, UAB, TruFund, Birmingham Bar Association, Jeffco Health Department, Birmingham City Schools, Jones Valley Teaching Farm, HICA, Cadence, Spire, Protective, Rotaract, Yellowhammer Creative, Altec, Valley Bank, Alabama Power Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Wells Fargo, and Regions.