to the Observer
In an effort to support remembrance of loved ones and healing from loss experienced during the pandemic, Alabama Forward is making Shine a Light Alabama resource kits available to Alabamians at no cost. Each kit contains: a votive candle and glass candle holder; a resource guide featuring reflective activities, guidance on candle lighting ceremonies, grief resources and advocacy information; a sticker; an informational flyer; and vaccination information provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Most of these resources are available in English, Spanish and Korean.
Shine a Light Alabama is a community-based outreach effort, created by Alabama Forward, a network of community-based organizations. The central activity is a candle lighting ceremony of remembrance that makes space for grief, comfort and hope. Such a lighting ceremony can be held in individual households, outdoors in a neighborhood park or block setting or in small, safe gatherings of faith communities or community organizations. Alabama Forward hopes that by encouraging community members to hold these ceremonies, the more than 12,200 Alabama families that are grieving the loss of someone to COVID-19 — and other Alabamians who have lost loved ones during the isolation of the pandemic – can begin to heal while honoring those lost.
The website, www.ShineAlabama.org, features a video and downloadable resource guides in English, Spanish and Korean. There are also links to healthcare and vaccine information, as well as grief support and mental wellness resources. A memorial wall on the website invites people to add a photo of an object that uniquely reminds them of the loved one they lost. People who have experienced the loss of loved ones throughout the pandemic, regardless of cause of death, are invited to remember their loved one on the site.
For more information on Shine a Light Alabama or to get involved, visit www.ShineAlabama.org.
Alabama Forward is a state-based 501(C)(3) civic engagement coordinating table committed to advancing movement towards greater freedom and progressive, solution-oriented policy among a diverse coalition of Alabama-based partner organizations, so that every Alabamian can engage in the democratic process. In pursuit of this mission, Alabama Forward will prioritize race and gender equity to engage every Alabamian in all aspects of our democracy.