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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

How one conversation turned into a fundraiser helping healthcare workers

Tammy Rivera, an Uber driver, is helping healthcare workers each day with the aid of local businesses.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — The pandemic is still going strong in the Mid-South but what about our appreciation for the frontline workers who are still busy helping COVID-19 patients?

Not long ago Tammy Rivera was Ubering a hospital worker and she discovered how one hot meal during a hectic nightside hospital shift can make all the difference.

So she stepped up to answer the call.

Rivera has a unique relationship with Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital and now when hospital workers see her they know it’s time to break from the sometimes chaotic shift and enjoy a good meal.

“It seemed like a whole parade of ambulances, the waiting room was full. They come out to get dinner and they’re like you have no idea how much this means to us. Thank you so much.”

The hospital worker Rivera was driving had worked a long shift and couldn't eat dinner at the hospital cafeteria, because it was already closed.

That's when she came up with the idea for her "Feed the Frontline" fundraiser. 

It didn't take long for her to rally the necessary funds from the Germantown community.

“When I woke up I had over $4,000 in my Venmo account. I’ve been collecting money and buying dinner every night. Last night was our 200th night.”

Rivera’s fundraiser is also helping to support local restaurants and staff.

“It’s really an example of people putting their difference aside and coming together," she said. "That being the most important thing.”

The health care workers really appreciate it.

“It’s not just a box of food to them. To them, it’s that they’re not forgotten. That the community is recognizing, man they’re in the trenches.”

Rivera is serving about 60 meals a night to the COVID unit, COVID-19 ICU, Le Bonheur ER, and the main ER.

She's served 12,000 meals to date. 

If you'd like to help, River's Venmo account is @Tamara-Rivera-26. Her PayPal is wethreesing@gmail.com. Also the link to the GoFundMe page is here.