Nonprofit provides free deliveries of groceries, other essentials to at-risk population
The outside world can be a scary place for many of us during this pandemic, and that’s especially true for those who are elderly or immunocompromised. That’s why one New York based non profit is making everyday tasks easier and worry-free for those individuals.
The group Invisible Hands Deliver came together in March.
Co-founder Healy Chait said, "We all were looking around and seeing how COVID was affecting New York, and thinking about the elderly, immunocompromised, and disabled. We were wondering how they were going to get through this pandemic, and how they were going to collect supplies and essentials."
The founders quickly got the charity launched, with a mission of delivering groceries and other essentials to people who are high-risk if they leave their homes.
People willing to volunteer came flooding forward.
Chait said, "Very shortly, we had over 10,000 volunteers. Now we have made over 4,500 deliveries. We've been helping a lot of people and it's been very, very exciting."
"To be able to get some good food, brought by great people, it’s just a wonderful thing. It really is a lifeline," one of the recipients of an Invisible Hands delivery said.
Volunteers are available for deliveries in all five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, and Western New Jersey.
Here’s how it works:
Anyone needing a delivery can place the request on the Invisible Hands website.
A volunteer will then get alerted when a delivery is needed in their area.
The volunteer then goes out to run the requested errand: grocery shopping, prescription pickups, and more.
The person who placed the order pays for the items in advance or reimburses the volunteer.
There is no additional fee for receiving an Invisible Hands delivery.
Volunteer Natalie Capasso has been making deliveries on Long Island for more than a month.
"A few weeks ago, I delivered for a person who was undergoing chemotherapy, and for them, going to the store is a huge risk," Capasso said. "Knowing that I, and so many other volunteers, can help them just makes me realize how big of a difference we're making."
Beyond being a helping, invisible hand, Capasso says she’s enjoying making new friends from a safe distance.
"Just talking to them has been a really great way to have conversations, which is something that I definitely miss about, regular life, and I'm sure they do too," Capasso said.
While Invisible Hands hopes to not be a needed service for too much longer… the founders and volunteers are ready, willing, and able to provide this support for as long as necessary.
Capasso said, "If there's still a need for people to have groceries delivered, I will still be volunteering."
Chait said, "I really just hope that this spirit of helping one another, and that we're better together, lives on past COVID."