Community members nominate a hero through Pepsi Stronger Together campaign

So many unexpected heroes have emerged across the U.S. this year in light of the pandemic. It’s happened at a time when communities have needed them most, when hospitals have gotten overcrowded and when unemployment has spiked. It’s come at a time when communities have needed help – and hope.

This year, our frontline workers have become our heroes. That’s why we kicked off our new Stronger Together campaign May 6 by visiting four different hospitals and universities across the Southeast to help distribute food to nurses and other healthcare professionals. But that was just the beginning.

"We want to make sure that the impact these heroes are having on their communities do not go unnoticed,” said Chauncey Hamlett, VP of Marketing for PBNA South Division, in a press release. “Together with our restaurant, hospital, retail and media partners, we want to give them something to smile about and reward them for their heroics by highlighting their stories. That's what our 'Stronger Together' program is all about."

We added the Nominate A Hero campaign to the Stronger Together effort starting on May 11, inviting community members in the Southeast to nominate their local heroes for a chance to win a $1,000 care package from PBNA South Division. More than 2,000 people submitted stories of frontline workers who were acting as heroes in their communities. They either uploaded a video explaining why they were nominating their particular hero or wrote a brief explanation to submit at PepsiStrongerTogether.com.

Michaela Bowker, a daycare teacher for essential workers’ children, was one nominee. “These teachers aren’t mentioned when we talk about the frontline heroes,” her nomination read, “but the work they are doing enables our other frontline workers to do their jobs. ...She continues to go and take on that risk because she knows what it means for those who are doing bigger things in our community. She is my hero!”

Joseph Compitello, an emergency room physician assistant, was another nominee. “Joe went to work 12+ hour shifts in the emergency room treating patients with COVID-19 and ultimately doing whatever he could to save lives,” his nomination read. “...He truly put everyone before himself and did the job he was called to do.”

Read more stories like theirs here. And take a moment to consider the heroes in your life today. Maybe it’s the person who bagged your groceries at the store, or the teacher who’s showing up for your kids. Maybe it’s the doctor who carved out an appointment time for you, or your friend who answered the phone when you really needed to talk. Consider them – and how you can support them in return.

“This has been a crazy time for all of us,” said our partner and race car driver Chase Elliott on social media. “Most of us are being told to stay at home, but our doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, police officers and other essential workers are out doing their jobs. It’s safe to say that these frontline workers are certified superheroes. By supporting them, we support each other. Because, together, we are stronger.”

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