It’s taken heroic strength for many of us to get through the unprecedented times we’ve experienced in the last several months. No one has exhibited this strength more gracefully than everyday heroes who have kept our neighborhoods and cities moving even when the world seemed to shut down. They are the small business owners and community organizers who have kept us going, they are the educators working to make in-person learning safe and remote learning engaging. They are the grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, nurses and frontline workers who continue to be essential to our survival.

Their sacrifices should not go unnoticed. That’s why Ford is recognizing those among us who have inspired, empowered and forever changed our lives by amplifying their stories of strength.

The Pharmacist

As a pharmacist, Maurice Lee prepares medications and vaccinations for patients while also checking their profiles for drug interactions and counseling them on their prescriptions. “I did not work from home,” says the California native. “I consider myself and my job essential because I need to be in the same space as my patients to assure they are receiving the best health care.”

Required to wear protective gear daily, Maurice says that things were stressful at first because there was a lot of uncertainty. “My work life really did not change too much because I was still required to report to my job,” he says. However, his home life was different because he had to distance himself. “I love people. I miss being around family and friends because I am on the front line, but I would hate to expose them to anything.”

While working throughout the pandemic has been challenging, Maurice also says he feels pretty great. “I always remember the oath I took when I became a pharmacist,” he says. “Knowing that what we do for our patients is important and considered essential makes me feel like I am living a life filled with purpose.”

The Truck Driver

Contracted to postal services, Krista Johnson picks up mail at the post office and brings it wherever it needs to go. “I have been working outside the whole time during COVID-19,” she says. But her job is truly essential, because without help from truck drivers like her, food, mail and all other shipped goods couldn’t be driven to different destinations.

Since the pandemic, Krista has only been working three days a week versus her normal full-time schedule. This has had a significant financial impact on her and her family, but that isn’t the only difficulty brought on by this experience. Like Maurice, she is also unable to spend time with her family for risk of infection. “I have not been able to see my daughters and granddaughters,” says Krista.

The Long Beach, California, resident says these sacrifices are all worth it. Krista explains, “I am very grateful to be able to be a part of making sure our economy and our people can still function in whatever way possible during this pandemic.”

For more inspiring stories like these, click here to meet the other heroes Ford is honoring with this special Stories of Strength series.

Stories like Maurice’s and Krista’s highlight just a sliver of the sacrifices frontline workers have made throughout the past 9 months. Ford Motor Company stands with these heroes in making sure that the needs of our communities are being addressed during this time. To learn more about what they’re doing, visit FordFund.org.