Let's face it—for older people, a trip to the grocery store can feel like a Herculean task under any circumstances. So, during the coronavirus pandemic, it's especially difficult: Covering your face, trying not to touch your phone, staying six feet way from everyone, and wanting to wipe down everything you touch can be daunting, especially for older adults who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If you're healthy and want to give back during this time, here's how you can volunteer to deliver groceries to local senior citizens.
Umbrella, a service that matches helpers ("Umbrella Neighbors") with adults 60 years and older who need work around the house, has refocused its efforts toward helping older adults get the essentials they need right now. It's also waived membership fees for urgent and essential tasks so more seniors can get access to no-contact deliveries.
If you sign up to volunteer, which you can do here, you'll see all the available opportunities near you in the Umbrella app. Before you choose your delivery, you'll be able to see where it is and what you'll need to pick up at the store. After accepting, you'll be prompted to call the recipient and arrange a drop-off time. All deliveries are contactless, so you'll drop groceries off outside the recipient's home and ring the doorbell or call once you do. When you complete the delivery, upload a photo of the receipt and a picture of the deliveries at the customer's door to the app. Initially, you'll pay for the items, and then Umbrella will reimburse you through direct deposit to your bank, Venmo, or PayPal.
Umbrella encourages volunteers to only sign up if "you're not in a vulnerable age group, are healthy, have not been traveling, and have not had any signs of illness in the past 14 days."
If you're 60 years or older, you can request a delivery of essential household supplies, medicine, or food here or by calling (844) 402-2480. While the membership fee is waived, you'll be charged $10 plus the cost of groceries.
Looking for other ways to give back? Here are nine ways you can virtually volunteer from home.
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