3 Birmingham stories that will put a smile on your face today

Neighbor Cover 3 Birmingham stories that will put a smile on your face today
We’re pretty good at that around here. Photo via Unsplash

It’s no secret to any local that Birmingham is the Magic City in more ways than one. In the wake of a global pandemic that’s put our whole world on pause, neighbors and strangers alike in Birmingham are being as generous and kind as ever. Read about three of them and focus on the good today.

1—A Fashion Designer

Alabama native and well-known fashion designer Heidi Elnora is using her seamstresses to manufacture facemasks. Workers and volunteers are hand-making each mask in Alabama and giving them out free of charge, in hopes to show support to medical and service communities.

This is a huge volunteer effort that Heidi Elnora is coordinating, and she’s personally donating 100% of her masks. She’s also providing compensation to volunteer seamstresses who are need of financial help due to job loss. Employing those who have been laid off, even temporarily, can keep a family from going hungry.

“We hope that these masks add value in such a critical time. Each mask will be given to those with the greatest need.”

Heidi Elnora

Story Source: Heidi Elnora’s website.

How you can help: Become a volunteer! This is a community, volunteer-based act of kindness, and they are asking anyone with a sewing machine to get it out and get busy. They’ve provided a video on how to make the Pocket Mask (above), a printable pattern, a list of supplies, as well as drop off instructions if applicable. Find it all at this link.

2—A Plumbing Pro

Plumbing Pros 3 Birmingham stories that will put a smile on your face today
Now could be a great time to get some home maintenance done. Photo via Plumbing Professionals on Facebook

Patrick Leonard is the owner of Plumbing Professionals, a company that serves Birmingham and the surrounding areas. He and his wife live in Hoover with their five children. 

According to one of his employees, Leonard has continued to pay all of his employees even though work has been slow. He started to task workers with finding people affected by COVID-19 and doing what they can to help.

Employees found a family where both parents had been laid off due to the pandemic after spending all morning calling nonprofits, churches, food banks, etc. Patrick sent his workers to the grocery store with a list from the family and his debit card.

“In a time where so many are being laid off, my boss is paying us to find ways to be of service to our community. I am absolutely blown away.

I want Birmingham to know that there are good people doing kind, generous things for others during this difficult time!”

Bergen Bolt, Plumbing Professionals

Story Source: Submitted.

How you can help: Need plumbing work done? Check out Plumbing Pros here.

3—A Group of Strangers

Wasabi Juans 3 Birmingham stories that will put a smile on your face today
Photo via Wasabi Juan’s on Facebook

Luis Toro is the owner of Wasabi Juan’s. As with most local restaurants and small businesses, COVID-19 has hit them hard. He told Catherine Patterson with WBRC that he had to make the hardest decision of his life recently by letting go of all of his employees.

Last weekend, someone broke into their business—they shattered the front door and stole the register. With all the troubles the pandemic has brought, there isn’t exactly a budget for damage costs right now.

Not too long after sharing the news via social media, Luis got a visit from a group of people from Church of the Highlands. They asked him how much repairs would cost, and immediately wrote him a check for the amount.

“Through tears, Luis told me he’s overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness, and he remains hopeful he will reopen with normal business hours and re-hire his employees.”

Catherine Patterson, WBRC

Story Source: Catherine Patterson WBRC on Facebook.

How you can help: Order food from local restaurants to show your support. Need help choosing? Over 160 Birmingham area restaurants have entered their info into our local business database.

Do you know someone in our community who is going above and beyond right now? We want to hear about it! Send me an email at beth@bhamnow.com

Beth Cunningham
Beth Cunningham

A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.

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