Lifetime Presents Variety's 'Power of Women: Frontline Heroes': Honoring the selfless SHEroes amid the pandemic

Lifetime Presents Variety's 'Power of Women: Frontline Heroes': Honoring the selfless SHEroes amid the pandemic
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The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc in its wake. The only beacon of hope in these unprecedented times are the frontline workers who are putting their own lives at risk and working tirelessly to help those affected by Covid-19. From doctors and nurses to social workers and grocery store employees, these essential workers have stood as vanguards since the pandemic to render their services to the community in any way possible. And it is no secret that a majority of the front liners are selfless and brave women, who have thrown caution to the wind and dived in headfirst to aid those in need. 

Each year, Variety Magazine honors celebrated women in the film industry for their professional achievements and humanitarian efforts to various causes. This year, it took things up a notch by hosting a one-hour special to honor the courageous women who have been making ceaseless efforts to elevate the community during the pandemic.

'Lifetime Presents Variety's 'Power of Women: Frontline Heroes' featured 2020 Honorees Cate Blanchett, Patti LuPone and Janelle Monae, alongside previous honorees Laverne Cox, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jennifer Garner, Tiffany Haddish, Gigi Hadid, Nicole Kidman, Blake Lively, Eva Longoria, Natalie Portman and Helen Mirren. Hosted by Robin Roberts of ABC News' 'Good Morning America', it also featured a musical performance from Andra Day, who sang a special rendition of her song 'Rise Up' in reverence to the lion-hearted women.

Registered nurses and healthcare workers protest what they say is a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) available for frontline workers at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 13, 2020, in Santa Monica, California (Getty Images)

Here are some notable women frontline workers whose compassionate and empathetic leadership has made a huge difference.

Diane Latiker

Latiker is the founder of Chicago-based non-profit organization 'Kids off the Block, Inc', dedicated to helping teenagers and the youth with their issues and concerns, while also helping them steer away from negative influences. After public schools in Chicago shut down in early March following the lockdown order, Latiker realized that many children who depended on the school system for meals had been deprived of their basic needs. She and her husband set up a stall at 115th Street & Michigan Avenue that offers burgers, chips and juice to hungry young people. She even began driving around the city distributing meals, masks, face shields, gloves, sanitizers and other basic supplies to vulnerable people. "Many think that help comes from the top down," Latiker shared, "it comes from the bottom up."

Shreya and Esha Venkat

'Nest4Us' is a non-profit organization founded by sister-duo  Shreyaa Venkat, 17, and Esha Venkat, 14. It works with communities to provide leadership and volunteer opportunities, with the goal that it can help make the world a better place through kindness and generosity. Whilst the organization is mostly involved in community outreach programs, it started providing care packages for the homeless population of the Washington metro area, hoping to do their part and help the vulnerable populations during the pandemic.

Leanne Francis, first-grade teacher at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, conducts an online class from her living room on March 20, 2020, in San Francisco, California (Getty Images)

Lori Douglass

Lori Douglass is a fifth-grade teacher from Texas. When her school announced in March that in-person classes would be canceled, she volunteered to help those possibly affected by the shutdowns. Douglass visits her 21 students regularly to check up on them and makes sure that they have everything they need, routinely dropping off groceries or lunch for some, along with books and coursework. She even bought them tablets so they could continue with their education through distance learning. 

Tamar Shapiro

No one has ever known Broadway to go dark for this long. New York Theatres have experienced the longest-ever shut down because of the pandemic, which has resulted in major economic deficits across the theatre community. Tamar Shapiro is a social worker at the 'Actor's Fund', a national human services organization that provides a safety net for professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry. She is currently looking over 9000 cases filed by professionals requesting emergency assistance from the fund. The Actor's Fund has gathered $5 million in donations as part of its Covid-19 relief efforts.

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Esta Soler

The pandemic lockdown has drastically affected women, particularly those who are victims of domestic abuse. This is a shadow pandemic burgeoned by the ongoing pandemic that has not only impacted women but has left children traumatized. Esta Soler is the founder of 'Futures Without Violence', a national non-profit health and social justice system working towards eliminating gender-based violence around the world. It has partnered with various other organizations that specialize in fieldwork to render services to women and children in need. 

Alessandra Morelli

Currently leading the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Niger, Alessandra Morelli has been working with UN's refugee for over 30 years. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she has been helping provide water, shelter, health care facilities and protective supplies to refugees. Global displacement is a rampant problem and isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The pandemic is a "great battle" she said, where female leadership is combined with ethics and empathy into a "magic formula" to render services to the helpless. 

Minal Dakhave Bhosale

Minal Dhakave Bhosale is a virologist, the research and development chief at Mylab Discovery Solutions, based in Pune, India. She began working on a Covid-19 testing kit in February, while in the last stage of her pregnancy. Bhosale will go down in history as the first woman to create India's first coronavirus testing kit, only two days before she gave birth.

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