Invisible Hands online service delivers necessities to coronavirus high risk residents

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A group of young adults came up with an online service to deliver necessities to area residents who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

The online service called Invisible Hands ensures that residents at high risk of the coronavirus receive food and medication.

"We decided if these doctors and other people can be risking their own lives to save those most in need, maybe we can deliver some groceries and engage some people in social conversation," says Liam Elkind. The 20-year-old and several of his friends created the service to provide safe and free deliveries to those most in danger of catching COVID-19.

Residents fill out a form with their contact information and a list of what they need. The site connects the applicants to volunteers in their area.

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"Amazingly, it took off and it hit the ground running, and I think we've all just been so overwhelmed and impressed and really blown away by how much people want to help," says co-founder Simone Policano.

Already more than 5,000 volunteers have signed up and have been vetted. They must meet certain guidelines like making sure they don't have coronavirus symptoms and have not traveled in the last 14 days.

The service also has a protocol for how volunteers should handle deliveries.

The volunteers have already completed more than 350 deliveries and made personal connections while doing it.

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“I went to one woman, Carol, she invited me in for tea and cookies and I said ‘Carol, that's the exact opposite of the point here. We're supposed to be distancing.’ And she said ‘OK, fine but after this whole thing's over I’m expecting you over for some cookies and treats,’ and I said OK,” Elkind recalls.

Invisible Hands is making deliveries in all five boroughs. The founders hope the simple work helps save lives.


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