MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A couple months ago, Local 24 News Reporter Rebecca Butcher introduced us to Tammy Rivera. She is an Uber driver who has been feeding the frontlines each night.
This Christmas Eve, we checked back in with her to see how everything has been going. Local 24 News Reporter Brittani Moncrease has the story.
If the pandemic taught us anything, it's taught us this lesson.
“The world can really hurt, but that you can really make a difference,” said Tammy Rivera, Memphis resident and Uber driver.
It was a difference that started for Rivera with one Uber ride.
“Way back in March, I was headed home and forgot to turn off my Uber app. I got one more ride request to pick someone up at Methodist Germantown Hospital,” said Rivera.
The passenger was a healthcare worker who needed a ride and food.
“In waiting in line at McDonald’s, I came to learn that the hospital cafeteria closed at seven. They all came into work at seven,” said Rivera.
From then on, Rivera set up an account for people to donate money, so she could buy food to feed those working on the frontlines.
“The next morning, I had over $5,000 in my Venmo account,” said Rivera.
She was speechless - even to this day, day #218 of deliveries.
“I am as excited to take them dinner tonight on Christmas Eve as I was the first night,” said Rivera. “When I tell you they walk out to the car sometimes in tears. They are so grateful that we are reaching out to them to support.”
After Uber caught wind of Rivera, donations picked up more.
She went national appearing on Live with Kelly and Ryan, and Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk.
“There’s hardly a night that I pull out that parking lot and I’m in tears and I’m not in prayers worrying for these people,” said Rivera. “I know that in my southern heart, at least this is one more night that they’re not going to go hungry.”
She's showing a little southern hospitality feeding right into frontline workers' hearts.
“The only way we’re going to get out of this is with a whole lot of love for each other,” said Rivera. “I cannot wait until this is over because there’s probably about 150 in that hospital that I want to hug so bad.”
Rivera said big items people can donate are sweets. They come in handy for those working overnight.
If you'd like to donate to Tammy's cause, below is a list of ways to contribute.