The pandemic did not stop Birmingham native Andrea Whitfield from being active in her community. Whitfield is a mother, grandmother, author of four books and a retired teacher at Birmingham City Schools- where she taught for 36 years. She also currently holds the title of Ms. Senior Titusville and is the winner of the American Queen Steamboat Company’s Unsung Heroes Contest that “aims to recognize those who go above and beyond to serve their communities in the face of the pandemic.”
Even though the pandemic brought unique challenges for communities, Whitfield did not stop helping others around her. “With schools having to close, I became a virtual tutor for second graders in Birmingham City Schools,” Whitfield says. The Birmingham Public Library reached out to her about a Virtual Literacy Program, which she enthusiastically agreed to be a part of as a local author. She shares that she saw a need in the community for a health program to encourage everyone to stay active while being at home. This prompted her to start the Let’s Walk the Track program in Titusville. Whitfield also became a volunteer for a virtual grief support group. “Wherever there is a need- whatever I can do- that’s what I do,” Whitfield reflects, adding that she believes God gave her a passion for serving. All of the ways she volunteers and makes her community better is why her daughter, April Whitfield, nominated her for the Unsung Heroes Contest.
Whitfield’s faith in God inspires her to always look for ways to serve others. Even though she has recently lost several people in her life- including a sister and fiancé- she feels God gave her strength to help others in similar situations. “2020 gave me the opportunity to gain more strength and closeness from God.” As she remembers the past year and all of its unexpected twists and turns, she says, “I feel blessed to have closer connections with God, my family, church members and community.”