For Delawareans stuck at home during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, there's a local branch of an international volunteering organization here to help with shopping.
"Shopping Angels is a program that is designed to provide services to populations who are especially at risk during this time throughout the United States," said Shopping Angels coordinator Megan Berry Fox during an interview with Peter MacArthur on WDEL's DelAWARE. "We're volunteering our time to personally deliver groceries or other shopping necessities to those who may prefer to stay home during this time. At first, we started by helping immunocompromised individuals--those with heart and lung conditions and seniors--and then we've recently expanded to help the parents of young children, especially single parents who might be the only parent in the household, or those who are self-isolating due to possibly being exposed to COVID-19."
Through ShoppingAngelsGlobal.org, those in need and those with time to volunteer can get connected by local coordinators who can help get food delivered from the store to a home, all while best pandemic practices are observed.
"People who are in need of our services can go on the website to sign up," she said. "They provide their contact information and their location. And then at that point, we also have volunteers who sign up through our website who also provide their contact information and their location, and then my job as a state coordinator is to match the volunteers with the client based on location, so that a volunteer is helping someone who lives near them...The volunteer will reach out to the client and ask them what they need from a grocery store, and go shopping for the client, and then drop the grocery delivery off after they're finished. They always stay outside, they always maintain social distancing, just to keep everyone safe."
Shopping Angels Global started in Nevada and has expanded to all 50 states, Canada, and Australia. Volunteers conduct grocery shopping for those in need without incurring any additional costs to the individual for whom the shopping is being done.
"Our volunteers have been great; we actually now have reached over 7,000 volunteers across the globe, which is amazing considering that this started out with 10 or so friends who just wanted to help the volunteers," Fox said. "I think, like many of us, a lot of people have been sent to work from home. They're sitting in their home wondering, 'What can I do and how can I help? I can't sit here.' I personally felt this I can't sit here anymore and just not do anything. So...people see this as a way to connect with someone in our community. A lot of people have expressed their gratitude that they're able to meet new people in their community and expand their knowledge of even, maybe, a neighbor who lives next door to them. They're very excited to be able to help with their community."