Pioneering nonprofit emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver essentials to vulnerable people
Grant Thornton providing funding assistance, business advice and volunteer support
CHICAGO — Grant Thornton LLP has named Invisible Hands Deliver as the fourth nonprofit in its Purple Paladin initiative — a program that helps emerging nonprofit organizations move from start-up to sustainable by providing funding, business advice and volunteer support, while also helping them share their stories more broadly.
Invisible Hands Deliver is a community-based organization of more than 12,000 volunteers who deliver groceries, prescriptions and other necessities to people vulnerable to COVID-19 — including the elderly, disabled and immunocompromised. The nonprofit serves a range of communities, while simultaneously keeping its aid recipients and volunteers safe by following federal, state and local guidelines.
Based in New York City, Invisible Hands Deliver has delivered nearly $1 million in food, medicine and other supplies in New York state and New Jersey — as well as Philadelphia, where it has recently established operations.
Three young New Yorkers — Simone Policano, Liam Elkind and Healy Chait — created Invisible Hands Deliver in March 2020 as they witnessed the COVID-19 crisis unfolding. The organization embodies digital innovation and connectivity, operating entirely over cloud platforms to execute deliveries in under 48 hours. This is accomplished by engaging volunteers remotely, who receive delivery dispatches to their phones. The founders built and grew Invisible Hands Deliver virtually using web-hosting servers and management systems. They also used social media and press coverage to grow awareness and attract new volunteers to meet growing demand.
According to Invisible Hands Deliver co-founder Simone Policano: "We recognized that acts of community, not isolation, could be the answer to COVID-19; we saw that we could safely pair those who are at lower risk for illness with more vulnerable people facing exigent needs. Becoming a Grant Thornton Purple Paladin will give us the resources and professional guidance we need to grow our efforts and further blunt the devastating impact of COVID-19."
Grant Thornton CEO Brad Preber describes the nonprofit’s founders as “sterling examples of forward-thinking young professionals who are using innovation and technology to solve massive, even existential, problems.”
Preber goes on to explain that: “Community isn’t about place, it’s about what we do for one another. Invisible Hands Deliver brings this meaning of community to life — which is exactly what Grant Thornton and our Purple Paladins program stand for.”
The public can learn more about Invisible Hands Deliver, or make donations, by visiting the nonprofit’s website: www.invisiblehandsdeliver.org.
Invisible Hands Deliver joins three other non-profits that Grant Thornton previously selected as Purple Paladins: Pal Experiences, Sneakers for Soldiers and Coming Up Rosies.
Pal Experiences is a is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people with non-visible disabilities — such as autism — have more inclusive experiences at museums, entertainment venues and sporting events. To learn more, visit: www.palexperiences.org.
Sneakers for Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides properly fitted athletic shoes to deployed combat troops in all branches of the military. To learn more, visit: www.sneakersforsoldiers.org.
Coming Up Rosies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides ‘smile kits’ to hospitals so children — particularly those suffering from hair loss — can engage in therapeutic art activities to create custom head scarves, neck scarves and superhero capes based on their own unique designs. To learn more, visit: www.cominguprosies.com.
Grant Thornton’s Purple Paladins program derives its name from the word paladin, a champion of a cause. To learn more about Purple Paladins or to nominate a nonprofit for potential support, visit Grant Thornton’s website: www.grantthornton.com/PurplePaladins.
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