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Find out where you can get a vaccine at www. For more information about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, contact the call center at or send an to rentalassistance specialkindofcaring. I salute them all. When many businesses shut down in due to the pandemic, Birmingham optometrist Dr. Lori Alyse Croom opened up to new beginnings. She became an author. She published the book in September It had resonated with readers so much that it became a No. Croom, 35 and the mother of two daughters. They say they feel like they are having a conversation with their homegirl.

She later reopened in June She said God gave her the idea for the book, and she was determined to write it in two months. She disconnected from social media and wrote a certain of s per day. For nearly 9 years, Julia Meyers has helped lead the fight to end trafficking in Birmingham and Alabama. She got involved to give a voice to the voiceless after hearing stories from her late brother, a public defender, who talked about how women were forced into prostitution because of human trafficking.

So, she got involved to help fight for victims and build a stronger community. And now that COVID has increased the risks of human trafficking, her efforts are even more important. According to the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to exploit human beings for some type of labor or commercial sex purpose.

The Junior League offers on-demand, free trainings to any organization, company or resident in the Birmingham area. They provide resources on what trafficking is, how people can best combat it, and how to respond when residents suspect it. In , the JLB worked with the Birmingham Airport Authority to get s up in every bathroom stall to help the public identify human trafficking and how to respond if they see something.

To have a JLB member talk to your group in a virtual format, visit www. As , Della Nicholas dreamed of becoming a model and appearing on the cover of a fashion magazine. Then, when she went off to junior college, she used money from her part-time job at Pizza Hut to pay for modeling classes. But because of the cost of secondary education and playing basketball, she had to put her dream to the side — again.

Fast forward to when Essence magazine sponsored a contest for women turning 50 in to celebrate the publication also turning 50 in At the urging of a friend, Nicholas entered the contest. And out of nearly 2, entries, she was selected as a finalist. Who knows. Ariel Taunton was five years old when she competed in her first track meet. But a month later, she competed in her second track meet. She came in first in the long jump and second in the meter yard dash. Today, the year-old has more than medals. Currently, she runs with the KO. And, once again, McDonald did just that.

She has also sent masks to hurricane victims in Louisiana, tornado victims in Tennessee, and fire victims in California and Colorado. People fell so in love with what they saw that they wanted to eat like Joy. Since there was not a food bus tour in town, Joy decided to create one to share her food experiences with others. Thus was born the Eat. Food Tours. And when I return on personal visits, I see some patrons right back in the places they visited on the tour. But, she started rolling again in August, adding temperature checks, sanitizing the bus in between stops, social distancing, requiring everyone to wear a mask and more.

She said the funding will help her with bus payments. Her bus tour means a lot to her, and she said she wants to keep it going for people who love good food from the great restaurants in and around Birmingham.

It helps me keep both of my buses running. And as a thank you to Beyonce, each tour now starts out with songs by her. One night in , Kristin Farmer had a simple request — to celebrate life. She researched what it would take to make her vision a reality.

She put away the idea, which later saw a rebirth in when she created holiday wrapping paper of images of African-American women with natural hair. She named her company Curly Contessa. Her line has grown to include glassware, T-shirts, porcelain and china collections, kitchenware and an expanded Christmas line. Next, she plans to expand her kitchen and glassware lines. All of the women are drawn by Farmer. One day after demonstrators in Linn Park attempted to remove a Confederate monument in May , Bria Mines and English McBride took their daughters, both 3 years old at the time, to the location.

The families did not know each other, but what happened at the base of that monument that day is a beautiful statement of what happens when love lives. Journee Mines, who is black, and Poppy Boyd, who is white, began playing in the dust and climbing the stairs of the monument.

At a certain point, Journee sat cross-legged and began meditating, a skill her mother had taught her. Poppy ed her, and they sat in silence before embracing and resuming their play. Their chance meeting and interaction were captured by Birmingham photographer Larry O. The scene moved several to tears. I told my daughter that this statue represented something that was wrong and the mayor was going to take it down. May what Journee and Poppy did in May serve as a reminder that one is never too young or too small to help forge positive change for everyone. Viktoria Havasi can help. Since Dec.

The hobby developed after she looked on Instagram to locate murals painted on the sides of buildings. She has not run out of material, as there are some indoor murals she has not yet shot. And then, people continuously inbox her to tell her about their latest find.

Havasi, 44, a cystic fibrosis researcher in Birmingham. Havasi, who was born in Hungary. They do it through Magic City Blight Busters, a group of volunteers from eight Birmingham neighborhoods who rotate to clean up, cut grass and remove blight in the eight neighborhoods.

The group has existed for nearly two years. Battle and Lyons hope the concept will spread to other Birmingham neighborhoods and residents will start their own clean-up networks. By the end of the day, volunteers had collected hundreds of bags. We know the potential it can have, and we are striving to get it back. But clean-up projects are not all this duo does. Lyons is the president of the Fountain Heights Neighborhood Association, and Battle is the vice president. Before the pandemic hit, they partnered with an organization to bring in a grocery store truck to make it easier for residents to buy fresh produce.

They are also expanding their connections with nearby downtown businesses and organizations to make them aware that their addresses fall within the Fountain Heights footprint. We are not asking residents to do things that we are not already doing. We just want better for our community and for ourselves.

Tamika Holmes grew up in a dysfunctional household, where drugs and alcohol were prevalent among adults. She dropped out of high school at She got married at She became a mother at And she was later tapped to be a long-term caregiver for her father. But she did not shrink from her situations. In June , she founded the Community Care Development Network to serve girls experiencing the same things she faced as .

She started out mentoring two students.

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