It seemed like the apocalypse had arrived in Atlanta after a few inches of snow left thousands stranded on highways without food or water. Children were stuck in school buses, a baby was born in highway traffic during the gridlock and some folks had to completely abandon their cars and walk for miles in freezing temps to find shelter. But no disaster is without its heroes.
Several schools, restaurants and companies like Home Depot and Kroger opened their doors for people to stay overnight. Michelle Sollicito, a Web-savvy good Samaritan, started the SnowedOutAtlanta Facebook page, a resource for people to get in touch with volunteers who wanted to help. The page’s crowdsourcing map allowed stranded motorists to find nearby shelters. More than 52,000 people have joined Sollicito’s service to get through the storm.
And if you want something that will really melt your heart, stop by the page’s spinoff, The Heroes of Snowed In Atlanta, which collects stories and photos of the city’s biggest helpers. Take Matthew Miller, who stood on I-75 to hand out PB&Js, cereal and hot chocolate to stranded motorists. Another local, James Thomason, used his pickup to pull cars out of ditches and take drivers home. It’s people like that who remind us that together we can get through even the worst storms.