Family gets help after children lose parents to COVID-19

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The COVID-19 pandemic has left some children throughout the United States without parents. A Birmingham woman lost her sister and her brother-in-law to COVID in 2020.

Francesca McCall took in her sister’s children and is now raising 12 children on her own, but the family is getting help from Lane Harper’s Power of Life Foundation.

“To see someone else feeling good, and you had a little part in it, it feels good,” said Harper.

By day, Harper is a patrol academy instructor for the Birmingham Police Department, but when he takes off the badge, he’s helping out families like the McCall’s.

The foundation adopted the family in December. Ever since, they have helped bring supplies to the family along with the occasional fun times.

“Just high fives and to let them know I’m a gummy bear-oholic. So, I want to share all of my gummy bears and candy with them. And let them know it’s ok to smile,” said Harper.

McCall says her sister, Chantal McCall, was a giving spirit.

“If you asked her to do, she did it with a smile. She didn’t have… I’m not gonna do it. She had the spirit of I’m going to do it and do it to the best of my abilities,” said McCall.

She says the past year has been emotional, but seeing Harper and how he interacts with the kids means everything to her and the family.

“A very positive role model for my kids and they really need that and we are very grateful for that,” said McCall.

“No matter if the cameras are there or if they’re gone, we will always be there,” said Harper.

The Foundation, along with the McCall family are hosting a Drive Thru Community Outreach event in Birmingham Saturday, April 24, and are giving away free masks, free food to feed over 750 families, information about the COVID-19 vaccine, and to help out tornado survivors in Ohatchee, Ala. It starts at 10 a.m. at the Crestwood Shopping Center.

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