Open Hand Atlanta, which prepares, packages and delivers more than 5,000 meals daily to residents who are ill, elderly or otherwise in need, got a helping hand of its own on Friday when a slew of drivers for the Zifty food delivery service pitched in to help a day after the I-85 bridge collapse.
The nonprofit is located a rock's throw from where a portion of I-85 collapsed following a massive fire, and as a result, the need for more volunteers will be an ongoing one.
"We are going to have a lot of challenges moving forward," Director of Volunteer Services Kari Morrison said. "Our biggest challenge is going to be drivers. We're going to need a lot more."
Update! A fleet of helpers from Buckhead Church joined the cause!
Open Hand delivers meals on 57 routes, all around metro Atlanta. Because traffic's expected to be snarled for who knows how long as the impacted portion of the highway is replaced, drivers likely will not be able to get to as many clients during their shifts.
The Zifty crew turned out to be a lifesaver on Friday morning, helping Open Hand serve its clients. Moving forward, new volunteers can check out possibilities here .
It takes about a day to certify a new driver, who must show a current driver's license and proof of insurance. Open Hand runs motor vehicle background checks on potential new volunteer drivers at a cost of $15 each. Those interested in helping defray that cost can contribute here.
On Thursday evening, right about the time fire was engulfing the portion of 85 that later collapsed, Open Hand was hosting a charity function. A volunteer who lives four miles away later told Morrison it took her an hour and a half to get home.
"My life for the next month is going to be very interesting," said Morrison. "We'll all pull together and get through this."