Maryland Teens Start Delivery Service for Elderly to Help Them Get Food Without Social Contact
Two teens have banded together to assist those of us most at-risk of dying amid the coronavirus pandemic. Teens Helping Seniors is hoping to inspire others to help out as well.
In Maryland, a pair of thoughtful high school students are working together in a positive way to help out the most vulnerable group of people when it comes to COVID-19.
Why it all began
Dhruv Pai, 16, and Matt Casertano, 15, got the idea to start the Teens Helping Seniors movement after they began delivering groceries to their own grandparents.
Elderly persons are less willing to go outside and purchase essential items due to the reported higher risk of dying from the novel coronavirus. So Pai and Casertano began doing it for them in late March.
Based in Montgomery County, the two teens offer an email service through which the seniors can provide their address and a grocery list of their most-needed items.
How the process goes
Here's how it works. The two teens and the volunteers who work with them will go to the store and purchase the items for the seniors. Fifteen minutes ahead of their arrival, they'll call the recipient.
When they arrive, they collect the money for the goods. They wipe down the items to remove any germs and leave them in a designated spot for the seniors to collect. No face to face contact is made.
Throughout the process, the volunteers wear masks and gloves. According to an FAQ attained by People, volunteers who have experienced cold/flu symptoms cannot be part of the service.
What they hope to achieve
In an informative YouTube clip, the boys spoke about their initiative and the motivation to present a better light on teens, especially during the coronavirus.
Pai explained, "One of my personal goals for this organization is to bring the generations together and to really show them that, despite our differences, we can still help each other."
The teen further highlighted how he hoped the movement would drown out the stigma held against the Asian American community since most volunteers are of Asian descent.
So far, over 65 volunteers have been put to work for the nonprofit organization, and upwards of 120 deliveries were made in the first two and a half weeks.
Who else is helping the elderly
Back in March, official attempts were made to help seniors. Some retailers would open their doors early to the elderly to avoid large crowds amid the outbreak.
Dollar General was one of the stores that dedicated its first hour of operations to seniors. Stop & Shop did the same for its first hour and a half. With shutdowns in place, it's even more difficult now, however.
What about the youth
The younger generation is also seeing their share of special treatment through one teacher who visits her students. Deborah Cowley, 50, stays outside as she delights students amid COVID-19.
The selfless educator from Greece, New York, often stops by student's home to deliver supplies and help out those who don't have internet success and can't do homework.
Cowley teaches at Brookside Elementary School in the first grade. Since her students are so young, it can be difficult for them to understand why they're no longer going to school. Seeing their favorite teacher certainly helps.