West Granby resident Jillian Juarez is the Connecticut State Coordinator for a group of volunteers who provide delivery service for at-risk individuals. Founded in Nevada, Shopping Angels will go to a store (or stores) to find needed items of a grocery, household or pharmaceutical nature for elderly clients or those at risk, such as those with compromised immune systems.
It all began in late February, when University of Nevada pre-med student Jayde Powell received a call from her mom, asking her to check on her elderly neighbors to see if they needed anything as reports of the corona virus began to circulate. Jayde did just that, and could see there was a definite need for help, and not just in her own neighborhood.
She enlisted several of her medical fraternity to join her campaign during their spring break. Thinking that the need for this service was going to be widespread, Powell created a FaceBook page explaining her mission on March 13. It went viral immediately. Nationwide groups have been formed, each with a local coordinator like Jillian Juarez. Clients contact the coordinator, and are paired with an Angel.
Throughout the shopping process, the Angel keeps in touch with the client to make sure they are purchasing exactly what is desired. When the delivery is made, the client pays cash for the items, never expected to be more than the amount shown on the receipt, although Angels are allowed to accept tips. Unlike most shopping services, the Angels do not charge a delivery fee.
Angels follow strict procedures so that clients are not at risk from external contamination. They wear gloves when picking up, transporting and delivering the items. They are encouraged now to wear face masks. They wipe down the products before placing in bags, if possible. They do not enter the client’s home.
How did Juarez get involved? She saw Powell’s post on FaceBook, called her, and was instructed to go to a Google Forum where she learned how to use a spreadsheet to set up the service. She coordinates over 125 volunteers all over the state. Open for only three weeks as of this writing, the Angels have already served over 30 clients, statewide.
Juarez would like to hear from Granby residents who need this service. You can call her at 860-692-2354 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.