NORTH METRO ATLANTA — The Greyhound bus station in Atlanta was cold and musty. Dim lights gave it a dreary feeling. It was the winter of 2002.
Anthony Delgado was residing on the station floor, down on his luck, a drug-addicted and homeless veteran.
But that evening, Delgado witnessed what he called an act of God. He experienced a moment that literally got him on his feet and on a journey to recovery.
Nearby, a man and a woman were shouting, “Young man, go to the VA hospital, they’re going to help you!”
They told him several times in a row, almost chanting.
“Leave me alone!” Delgado shouted back.
Others inside the bus station stared at Delgado. They did not see the figures Delgado was speaking to.
He says they were angels.
Delgado left to follow the couple outside, but they were gone.
Another time, Delgado was approached by a man who asked if he was a veteran. Yes, Delgado responded, Marine Corps.
The man guided Delgado to the Clairmont Road train station, down a long escalator.
By the time Delgado stepped onto the train, he turned around to thank the man who’d helped him. But he was gone.
Another angel, Delgado said.
Not long after, he was at the VA hospital and was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. After some assessment, the doctor presented to Delgado two options:
1. Go to a rehabilitation program, which included three hot meals a day and job opportunities.
2. Leave the hospital the following day and continue to live his homeless life as a drug addict.
He chose option number one.
Delgado said the program turned his life around and got him on a path of service. He got a job as a representative for a telecommunications company and attended church regularly.
Delgado was baptized. He said it washed away the problems he was trying to overcome.
“I was clean from the inside,” Delgado said. “I felt a change that I can’t even explain to you; Christ really came into my life.”
Delgado was soon filled with a need to help those down on their luck like he used to be.
I Care Atlanta Inc. (ICA) was officially established in 2010 – formerly known as My Brother’s Keepers Reaching Out Inc. – as a 501(c) nonprofit located at 5879-B New Peachtree Road in Doraville.
Before moving into it’s current location, it was started in the trunk of Delgado’s 1984 red and white Dodge van. Now, he has a brick and mortar location and nine employees to help him distribute food and keep everything in order.
With food insecurity rampant in Metro Atlanta, Delgado was motivated to devote the rest of his life to feeding those in food insecure homes. ICA services are through mobile, in-house distribution and emergency/crisis prevention.
“I honestly believe that God put me in this position,” Delgado said. “I didn’t start this program, God started this program.”
ICA receives quality meats and other produce from Publix, Trader Joe’s, Buckhead Beef and other neighboring grocery chains that support the values of Delgado’s nonprofit.
The message of Delgado’s organization is simple: “stabilizing lives.” The previous year gave their organization a whole new meaning while serving hundreds of families during the pandemic.
ICA accepts donations including toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, wipes, first aid kits, small toiletries, school supplies, baby items, hygiene products, new socks, new undergarments, hygienic products, gift cards, office supplies and reusable shopping bags.
Although their biggest need is monetary donations, Delgado said.
Alongside their food services, Delgado accepts clothing donations that he gets sent off to get cleaned so they are pressed and ready to go for whoever might seek out well-kept clothing items.
ICA has food distributions every week and various locations. Law enforcement also attend, and Delgado said it is a good way for the community to talk with the officers.
For more information, go to www.icareatlanta.org or for monetary donations, ICA utilizes CashApp – username is $ICareAtlantaGA – and PayPal at Paypal.me/ICareAtlanta. Checks can also be made out to I Care Atlanta.