Now, more than ever, the world needs everyday heroes. COVID-19 has created new and unexpected challenges for what once were everyday activities – especially for the elderly, the immunocompromised or those with other pre-existing conditions. For these more vulnerable individuals, picking up a prescription or food can pose as great a risk as going without. And while separation offers safety, it also leaves many to face these challenges on their own.
At the same time, many college students and young adults have faced their own set of disruptions, navigating unexpected school closures and now-uncertain internships or job offers. Most young people are not considered at-risk. Instead, many are at a standstill.
But, not Healy Chait, Liam Elkind and Simone Policano. The young co-founders of Invisible Hands Deliver were driven to do more to help as the crisis hit New York City in early March. They understood at-risk populations had critical, unmet needs for support in their essential tasks and there was also a city full of young people looking for a way to help. They realized that acts of community – not isolation – could be the answer. This was the inspiration for Invisible Hands Deliver.
Invisible Hands Deliver is an emerging nonprofit that is mobilizing community-based volunteers to deliver groceries, prescriptions and other necessities to those at a higher-risk for COVID-19 complications, including the elderly, immunocompromised, sick and disabled. The organization embodies digital innovation and connectivity, operating entirely over cloud platforms to execute deliveries in under 48 hours by engaging volunteers remotely, who receive delivery dispatches to their phones. Founded during the shut down, the organization itself was built and grown online using web hosting servers and management systems, leveraging social media and remote press interviews to grow awareness and attract new volunteers.
The best part? It’s working. Since March, the team has recruited 12,000 volunteers and expanded from New York to Philadelphia, successfully delivering nearly $1 million in food and medicine to at-risk communities. You can support their mission and more accomplishments like these here.
But, Invisible Hands Deliver is more than its deliveries. At a time of social isolation and distance, their work creates important, often-intergenerational connections between volunteers and those they serve.
Liam tells a story of an out-of-state daughter who used their service to deliver food and medicine to her father. He had been diagnosed with the virus while living alone in New York and developed a close relationship with his Invisible Hands volunteer. “I don’t think they ever saw each other,” he said. “But they became friends. When he passed away, his daughter said that that volunteer was able to there for him. To be a comforting presence, to be a friend when she couldn’t be there.”
Grant Thornton is proud to welcome Invisible Hands Deliver to the Purple Paladin program, adding to a growing family of everyday heroes making a difference nationwide.
Community isn’t about place, it’s about what we do for one another,” said Grant Thornton CEO Brad Preber. “This idea has become more important than ever as we face the tragic impact of COVID-19. That’s why Grant Thornton is supporting Invisible Hands Deliver – an organization that brings the meaning of community to life.