Make A Difference: Home for adults with mental challenges asks for drivers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - 305 8th Street offers refuge.

Enrichment Manager Cathi Altonji explains, "We are a group home for adults with mental challenges."

We catch up with them half-watching the TV, mostly enjoying each others company.

"They live as extended family, really," said Altonji.

Their house is decorated with art from their gallery and a few smiles too, but no matter how lovely your home, it's nice to get out sometimes.

Thankfully, they get some awesome chances.  "We have a lot of friends, and with that, they have a lot of offers to do neat things," said Altonji.

They get invited to plays and shows and dances, but the few cars parked outside that belong to the workers just aren't enough.

Altonji points out, "You and I, we can take for granted our ability to just jump in the car and go do what we want to do."

They just need a few people willing to step up and drive -- maybe one weekend a month.

"Really it would just be coming here, picking up a few people that signed up to go to something, just take them there," explains Altonji, "You probably would stay with them and enjoy whatever the event was. And then bring them home before the car turns into a pumpkin, which I think is about 10 o'clock."

They promise any help you can offer the good people who live here will make a difference.

Altonji reassures, "There's not a particular size vehicle that you need. There's no medical training that you need. We don't want people to worry about any of those details. Just offer their time and enjoy our wonderful family."

So see if you couldn't spare one night a month making some new friends, becoming a part of a new family.

You can call the office number for 305 8th Street, which is (256) 489-2997. You can also email Cathi Altonji here, or contact them through their Facebook page.

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