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Meet Birmingham-Area Heroes Amid The COVID-19 pandemic (Photo Gallery)

Birmingham Police Officer Lane Harper wears mask supporting law enforcement. The officer was downtown in Linn Park last week giving out free masks to members of the public. (MARVIN GENTRY, FOR THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES)
The Editors

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Heidi Elnora could have closed her bridal shop in downtown Birmingham when the COVID-19 pandemic hit but decided to open her heart instead.

She used her fashion design skills and joined with a group of area seamstresses and teachers to make more than 15,000 masks for health care professionals, grocery store workers, police and firemen, truck drivers and others.

Saluting her volunteers, Elnora said, ““It’s really beautiful to see how many people are really good people that just want to serve and do good stuff,” she said.

Donna Dukes, founder and executive director of Maranathan Family Learning Center & Academy, a private school for critically at-risk youth in Birmingham’s Southside, mourned after a school counselor lost a family member to COVID-19.

There have been other challenges but that hasn’t stopped Dukes and a team of volunteers from distributing food to students from Pleasant Grove to Center Point to Collegeville and across the entire county.

“We are coping by way of faith, … thanking God that things are not worse than they already are, and believing God for deliverance,” she said. “And in times when we might feel really overwhelmed, we remind ourselves to look forward to better times.”

Because of Elnora and Dukes and countless others in the Birmingham metro area there is reason to be optimistic. Those volunteers in this community along with doctors, nurses, public safety, chefs, mail carriers, cashiers, sanitation workers, delivery drivers, bank tellers, convenient and gas station employees, day care providers and many more have been brave during this pandemic.

“We hear about all these negative things in the world and sometimes believe the world is bad, but there is a lot of good—and this is just a gentle reminder of how much good there really is,” Elnora said.

For a complete photo gallery of heroes at work visit www.birminghamtimes.com.