As API enters the fourth 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 Four
1. Madison High School Teacher Uses Stimulus Check to Pay Utilities for Students
Kent Chambers, a math teacher at Bob Jones High School in Madison, gave money from his stimulus check to pay off the utility bills of three students and their families who he knew were struggling. Chambers, who has been a teacher at Bob Jones since 1986 and a great example of individual generosity, is still employed and was therefore able to be creative in giving portions of his check away.
2. Birmingham-based Regions Bank Grants Almost $1 Million in Coronavirus Relief Grants
Regions Bank continues to display the generosity of the private sector and has given $950,000 in grants to local organizations and non-profits working to provide relief to those most affected by the coronavirus. Among the recipients is the Small Business Relief Fund of the West Alabama Chamber, which supports businesses of fifty or less who are experiencing financial hardships related to COVID-19.
3. Walk-On’s Hoover Offers Free Meals to Hospitality Workers
The new hit restaurant Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux in Hoover has provided pop-up free meal days for hospitality workers and has even had special hours for those who have been furloughed to get a free meal. This is yet another example of private enterprise giving back to their communities during this time.
4. Cornerstone Christian School Continues to Provide Excellence in Education During Coronavirus
Cornerstone Christian School, a private academy in Birmingham that largely serves low-income students, is continuing to offer meals for their students free of charge. The school also has continued to provide a high-quality education. In fact, according to Drayton Nabers, Jr., Cornerstone’s Board Chairman and a former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, students were so eager to continue school that they asked their teachers for assignments. The full story, which demonstrates how Accountability Act schools are serving their students, can be found on our website at the link below.
5. Protective Life Commits $1 Million to Coronavirus Relief
Yet another example of large companies supporting those hit hardest by the virus, Birmingham-based life insurance company Protective Life has committed $1 million to support coronavirus relief efforts. Protective Life has already given out portions of this commitment, including grants to UAB to fund coronavirus treatment research and the Birmingham Strong Fund which works to stabilize employment through emergency loans to small businesses.
6. Briarwood Christian School Surprises Seniors
Faculty from Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham have been surprising the 2020 graduating class with “Party Packs” with yearbooks, caps and gowns, and other gifts. Briarwood is just one of many Alabama schools who are finding creative ways to honor their seniors and is a testament to the genuine care that many teachers have for their students.
7. Students at Altamont School Make Personal Protective Equipment
Students at Altamont School in Birmingham are making personal protective equipment using the 3-D printer at the school’s campus. Spearheaded by sophomore Meghan Goyle and freshman Noah Warren, the community effort has been a project of teamwork for the students and has ultimately resulted in donated PPE for healthcare workers across Birmingham and even to Atlanta, where a local doctor requested them after hearing the story on the school’s Instagram account. This is another great reminder that Alabamians, regardless of age, are creatively finding ways to help during the pandemic.
8. Knights of Columbus Hold Canned Food Drive in Prattville
The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization, is hosting a canned food drive next week in Prattville. The food drive will be used to benefit a local care center and demonstrates the continued importance of faith communities in our response to the coronavirus.
9. North Alabama Cafe Feeding Thousands of Children
Cyn Shea Cafe in Huntsville is providing meals to over 2,000 children in North Alabama. Through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama, the cafe, owned by Cynthia Hart, was typically feeding 800 students a day before the virus. Now, with more students out of school, the cafe is producing meals for almost 2,300 children every day. Community support through private donations pays for many of these meals.
10. Ten-Year-Old from Arkansas with Cancer Beats the Coronavirus
A ten-year-old from Northwest Arkansas, who was in the midst of chemotherapy treatments for cancer, contracted COVID-19, entered quarantine, and beat the virus late last month. Riley Duckworth was diagnosed with leukemia a few months ago, before he contracted the virus. He hopes to go to Disneyland through Make-A-Wish when it reopens. Although outside of Alabama’s borders, this story was brought to our attention by Huntsville’s WHNT and is so encouraging that it had to be included in this week’s Anchored in Alabama.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.