Good news Thursday: Women feed their communities, lemonade stand funds brain surgery

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Woman comforts elderly immigrants with a taste of the islands

Chief coordinator Glenda Andrew checks the pot as she prepares West Indian meals with members of the Preston Windrush Covid Response team. Once a week they distribute meals to people in Preston and surrounding communities in northwestern England that have recorded some of the U.K.’s highest coronavirus infection rates. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Glenda Andrew makes food not just to fill the stomach, but to feed the soul. With a variety of Caribbean meals, she is making sure that older immigrants are getting fed during the pandemic. For the past 42 weeks, Andrew has been distributing meals for free to communities in Preston and neighboring towns. The idea was born from her work Preston Windrush Generation & Descendants, founded to support the rights of early immigrants from former British colonies who have been threatened with deportation. Once a week Andrew and volunteers make big meals to give to the seniors on their list. 

Not only does the program provide meals, it provides companionship for the seniors, many of who are isolated. Volunteers deliver the food and strike up conversation to help those who are generally alone feel like they have a community behind them. The project hopes to continue as long as it can with the help of donations, a new kitchen space, volunteers, and Andrew’s determination to help those around her. “Initially it was the food and, as I said, I didn’t know what we were creating,” Andrew told the Associated Press. “And it’s been amazing.”

7-year-old girl funds her own brain surgery

Liza Scott, who ran a lemonade stand to help fund her own brain surgery, holds a donation at her mother’s bakery. Mother Elizabeth Scott said the family has good health insurance, but expenses are still high and the 7-year-old girl wanted to help out. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

Seven-year-old Liza Scott described her condition as a “brain thingy.” Last month after a series of seizures, doctors discovered she had cerebral malformations and needed surgery. But as scary as that diagnosis might be, Liza decided to help out. The lemonade money she made last year to fund toys and sequined high-heel shoes was repurposed to fund her brain surgery. The stand was set up in Savage Bakery, owned by her mother, in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama offering lemonade for a quarter, stickers and other treats. But as news spread about Liza’s condition, people began to spend much more than just a quarter. “I’ve got a $20 bill and a $50 bill and a $10 bill and a $5 bill and a $100 bill,” Liza told the Associated Press as she counted donations.

Within the first few days of her stand being open, she made more than $12,000. And the donations did not end there. An online fundraiser has raised over $380,000 for Liza’s brain surgery. Her mother, Elizabeth Scott, a single mother with another toddler-aged boy, is not surprised at her daughter’s eagerness to help and pitch in. Liza’s confident, spunky go-getter attitude and energy have been around since she was little. On her Facebook page, Scott thanked everyone who donated and updated followers on Liza’s journey. Liza received her brain surgery from Boston Children’s Hospital on March 8 and is currently recovering. “We are far from the finish line, however one step closer to being past the hardest part and able to focus on the future, ‘Until Liza is well,’” Elizabeth Scott wrote in a post. 

Miami janitor quietly feeds thousands

Doramise Moreau covers shredded malanga that will be served with baked fish to those that need a meal. Moreau is a part-time janitor at a technical school. She spends most of her time shopping for ingredients and helping to cook meals for 1,000 to 1,500 people a week since the pandemic began. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Doramise Moreau, a 60-year-old widow living with her children, nephew and grandchildren, is in two lines of work. Her first job is as a janitor for a technical school. She calls the second the work of her heart, feeding the hungry. Since the pandemic began, Moreau single-handedly cooked 1,000 meals for others, receiving little payment in return. This passion began long before the pandemic. As a kid, Moreau would stash canned goods in her home in Haiti to give to those who needed them. Now decades later, she still follows that calling in her home kitchen. 

Her church lends her a truck to buy groceries so that she can cook late into the night before feeding the needy on Saturday. The church relies on donations for food, Moreau cooks the meals, and church volunteers serve or deliver them. Not only does she feed her immediate community, she also feeds those in her hometown in Port-au-Prince. She sends monthly food pallets to her family back in Haiti and ensures everyone gets the meals, down to each grain of rice. For Moreau, her actions are fueled by her faith. “I can keep all the money for myself and never give anyone a penny,” she told the Associated Press. “But if you give from your heart and never think about yourself, God will provide for you every day. The refrigerator will never be without food.”

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